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Entrepreneurship “Finds a Way” in a Supportive Culture

Entrepreneurship “Finds a Way” in a Supportive Culture

By
Stephen Carter
March 19, 2024
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I’m a sucker for the original Jurassic Park—and it has held up remarkably well over the years since its 1993 release (wow, that makes me feel old). There’s a famous scene in the film where Malcolm, played by actor Jeff Goldblum, explains that regardless their attempts to control it, nature will find a way to thrive and survive: “life finds a way.”

At the risk of being ultra-corny, the same is true of entrepreneurship—it finds a way. When the culture is ripe with growth mindset and encouraging students to seek opportunity, what inevitably ends up happening is students operating entrepreneurial ventures. And this is not limited to the high school years.

Recently, a group of seventh grade students at our school became frustrated with a problem—school lunches were less than desirable, and they were often hungry by the end of the day. Their solution? Start a business selling delicious food after school.

Attendees at our CHCA Entrepreneurship Symposium a few weeks back got to meet these students firsthand and hear the story of how this idea turned into a viable business—and just the other day, I stopped by to order a BLT and watch as a group of seventh graders jumped in and ran a thriving business with no help or oversight from adults.

It was remarkable—first, the griddle they were using for sandwiches got too hot, and the butter burned, almost causing the fire alarm to go off. Yet the students set up a fan to eradicate the smoke and entrepreneurship found a way. Next a hungry mob of seventh and eighth graders attacked the storefront demanding food, and the students “hired” one of their peers as a security guard to control the line, and entrepreneurship found a way.

What I saw was so simple and yet so profound—students managing, directing, cooking, selling, and thriving. Indeed, entrepreneurship finds a way, and it is truly an engaging way. I looked over at our associate director of entrepreneurship and he just smiled, gestured to the students, and said, “they had an idea, and they went after it and that’s what it’s all about.”

And that is, after all, what’s it’s all about.

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Students waiting patiently for food from “Home Cooked” - a completely student-run venture

 

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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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