A Timeline to Launch Entrepreneurship

A Timeline to Launch Entrepreneurship

Stephen Carter
April 14, 2024
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April is a fascinating month of the year for school leaders—it is filled with the dichotomy between the present and the future. On the one hand, we are focused on the school year at hand and the never-ending list of responsibilities from awards nights and banquets to graduation and transcripts, while on the other hand, we are trying to find time to plan amazing programming for next school year.

And sometimes the best ideas and intentions get lost in the shuffle.

A consistent theme I hear from curriculum directors, principals, and heads of schools is the desire to start entrepreneurship programming in a meaningful way but a frustration around not knowing the best way to start. And this can sometimes lead to “paralysis of analysis” which, if left unchecked, delays the start of one of the most powerful and impactful programs schools can offer.

That’s where I can help. Having developed an entrepreneurship program at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy over the last ten years and after replicating this program in multiple schools around the US, I have a recommend timeline to start both the program AND the student-run business in the first year:

April/May – Decide to start entrepreneurship at your school; reach out to me for suggestions/curriculum/guidance; choose your impact player who will run the program; select 8-12 students to participate in the year-long experience.

June/July – Training and preparation for the impact player/program leader to ensure a strong start.

August – Start the semester-long “Foundations of Entrepreneurship” course with the 8-12 students—the course does a deep dive into the four attributes of the entrepreneurial mindset and is peppered with four hands-on projects to increase engagement.

October – Begin the “Ideation and Creation” phase of business planning; the program leader starts to become a “business mentor” and the students explore problems they could solve through an on-campus business.

December - LAUNCH – the new, on-campus business is launched and the group of students, all with key roles and responsibilities, impact the school community through their mission-driven venture.

January – Students enter the “Growth” phase where they use class time to focus on the healthy/sustained growth of the business while starting the “Entrepreneurship Level Two” course which focuses on leadership, collaboration, effective communication, strategic priorities, and accountability.

February/March – Course optioning for next school year, plan for 20-24 students: 10-12 to run the existing business and 10-12 to start a new venture or participate in a pitch competition.

April/May – Students focus on operationalizing the business to train future students on how to grow the business while practicing hands-on ownership.

Don’t let the process be daunting—I’m here to help guide each step of the way so that the spirit of the entrepreneurial mindset can supercharge your school community.

Let’s Go!


The Four Stages of Starting a Student-Run Business at Your School


Share This with Your Team

The entrepreneurial mindset is contagious and can impact your entire school community in a positive way. Every Monday, I send out a short (8-10 minute) thought key to activating the entrepreneurial mindset and thinking like an entrepreneur. Share this link so everyone in your community can follow along.


Imagine your culture infused with growth mindset, grit, redefining failure, and opportunity seeking. Imagine your team acting and thinking like entrepreneurs.

Stephen Carter

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