According to the Chatham-Kent Workforce Planning Board, the number of entrepreneurial business jobs is growing twice as fast as regular paid jobs.
That means more people are taking their business ideas and making a go of it, with help from government initiatives and loans, and a lot of personal work ethic.
Organizations such as Junior Achievement SWO and programs like the Learning Partnership Entrepreneurial Adventure for students are helping our kids learn how to come up with ideas and see it through the entire business start-up process. Programs like these bode well for the future, if the trend seen by the Workforce Planning Board continues.
What our students may need more of, though, is business math and detailed economics courses in our curriculum to help them achieve those types of goals. With all the types of math offered to students in high school, why not have an option that will give them basic accounting skills, or how to run a cash register, or reconcile a bank statement? Useful skills for those people who aren’t headed to university but want to take their ideas and make a business of it.
Creativity is important, but so is knowing how to balance your books. Even a course in what the government requires from small businesses, such as HST and payroll deduction filing – crucial in the operation of any business – would be helpful.
Teaching our kids useful skills should be a big part of their learning years; as much as basic math and English. Creating future leaders means we need people who actually start the businesses and eventually end up hiring all the college and university grads. Arming them earlier with the information they need is something groups such as Junior Achievement do well, but that kind of learning should be taught to all high school students so they have even more options at the end of Grade 12.
And even if you employ yourself in a one-person operation, you are still creating a job and contributing to the economy and tax base, and we need those jobs to help Chatham-Kent grow.