Just in time for the start of the school year, an innovative new resource is now available for Iowa classrooms and college campuses. The Entrepreneurship Toolkit focuses on the value of business ownership for both students and communities and details how education can engage students to develop this career pathway.

Users of the toolkit will find a comprehensive look into how schools and colleges can incorporate entrepreneurship concepts into their lesson plans. Everything from necessary skills to sample course structures to different types of entrepreneurships are covered in the toolkit.

“The Entrepreneurship Toolkit is Iowa’s first education-based resource that focuses on entrepreneurship through innovative examples shared by collaborative experts,” said Kristy Volesky, education consultant for the Iowa Department of Education. “Educators will now have extensive examples and connections to help students explore their entrepreneurial dreams.”

Development of the Entrepreneurship Toolkit brought together thought leaders from the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Volunteer Iowa and other industry experts, and each party agreed how valuable this collaborative effort will be for career readiness and discovery in Iowa’s classrooms.

“Introducing students to entrepreneurships can help with their future career choices,” said Tim Brickley, business educator at Des Moines Public Schools’ Central Campus. “Students can see if they are interested in owning or starting a business or if they prefer to be a part of a team working for someone else. It’s all about providing options for exploration.”

Entrepreneurships are valued not only because they offer viable career options for students but also provide opportunities to strengthen communities.

“Entrepreneurship at the very core is meeting the needs of a community that is not currently met,” said Anna Lensing, program manager at Iowa Economic Development Authority. “Education in this space provides students valuable tools while navigating their own pathway and also creates connection to their local entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The Entrepreneurship Toolkit can be downloaded from the Work-Based Learning webpage. High school and college educators, administrators, school counselors and other staff are encouraged to review the resource.

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