Can you teach your child how to be an entrepreneur? Here, an expert from Tanglin Trust School shares how to instil an enterprising mindset.
Tech start-up folklore makes it easy to imagine a cluttered garage in Los Altos, California, as the ideal environment for enterprise to flourish, but an entrepreneur’s journey actually starts in the formative years,” says Nigel Rackham, Head of Enterprise at Tanglin Trust School. “An enterprising mindset can be nurtured at home and at school through skill development, experiences and exploration.” Tanglin holds entrepreneurship-centred activities that aim to do just that.
Read on as Nigel outlines six such initiatives, plus ideas on how parents can recreate them at home.
1. Market Day
One way in which Tanglin fosters entrepreneurship is through curricular programmes such as the Year 7 Market Day, where students work in teams to plan, design, produce and market products – one of which must be an upcycled or recycled item. Nigel says Market Day is easy to DIY at home. “Children will have as much fun setting up a market stall and selling to customers, as they will creating their merchandise,” he suggests.
2. Hotel Challenge
Year 8 students participate in the Hotel Challenge. Teams of six work to develop an idea for a themed hotel in Singapore, learning fundamental business principles such as marketing mix, price strategies and SWOT analysis. The winning groups will give a presentation in the Grand Final, with experts from the hotel industry as panel judges. The Hotel Challenge is a fun way for parents to engage teens on staycations, too. They can focus on sustainability issues, such as considering alternatives to plastic-bottled water in rooms
3. Other Competitions
“What better way to learn about market forces than through competition?” says Nigel. International essay-writing competitions give young people the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of economic theory to universities and potential employers. This year, one Year 12 student was runner-up in the Berkeley Economic Review High School Essay Competition, while a Year 10 student was a finalist in the Harvard International Economics Essay Contest. There’s a range of simulation competitions offered to students at Tanglin, too. Students participated in the recent CME High School Trading Challenge, the FedEx/JA International Trade Challenge, Student Investor Challenge and the Tiger Global Case Competition (2020-21)
4. Enterprise Programme
Tanglin’s Enterprise programme is embedded in both curricular and co-curricular activities. The programme aims to develop business skills related to teamwork, ideation and communication through active learning experiences. “It’s a great way to inspire intellectual curiosity and further exploration,” shares Nigel
5. Enterprise CCAs
Enterprise CCAs are a key part of the Programme, running twice a week for Senior School students. Activities include Peter Jones Tycoon weekly challenges and a Breakfast Cereal Entrepreneur task where students create a new brand that could break into the market. Before Covid restrictions, students collaborated with Senior School library staff to produce recycled and upcycled products for School Fayres. The profits were split between Year Group charities and LendWithCare (lendwithcare.org). Notes Nigel, “This initiative is a powerful way to encourage an inclusive approach to entrepreneurship in your child.”
Economic forums can be for the world leaders of tomorrow, not just the world leaders of today. Tanglin Year 12 IB students have initiated, planned and organised Tanglin Economic Forums, and, in 2021, the forum debated the path to recovery for Covid-struck economies, with Mitul Kotecha, Shyam Devani and Francesca McKee as guest speakers.
Find out more about Tanglin Trust School and its holistic learning curriculum on its website.
Tanglin Trust School
Address: 95 Portsdown Rd., 139299
Tel: 6778 0771
Opening hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.)
By Nigel Rackham, Head of Enterprise at Tanglin Trust School for The Finder Issue 307, June 2021 / Images: Courtesy of Tanglin Trust.
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