The founders of E Prep understand the importance of culture in any educational setting or workplace. They value the entrepreneurial culture in particular, for its emphasis on perseverance, responsibility, self-discipline, courage, respect, and choosing to see obstacles as opportunities. In designing the school, the founders believed that students would thrive in a culture that models entrepreneurial traits and also teaches entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship education helps students see the connection between education and real life and therefore brings relevance to education. Entrepreneurship training teaches students how to approach life with a creative and success-minded outlook, whether they plan to own a business or work within one. For these reasons, E Prep is built upon a culture of high expectations combined with an entrepreneurial mindset.
In May and June 2009, E Prep 8th graders (our founding class of students) will take a formal, six-week entrepreneurship class. This is E Prep’s inaugural entrepreneurship program. They will be taught by a Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher who has been trained by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Using the NFTE text “How to Start and Operate a Business,” which was written for youth, the students will learn to identify a business opportunity, write a business plan, and present the plan in a business plan competition. They will also meet local entrepreneurs and tour local small businesses.
Beginning in the 2009/10 school year, E Prep will teach the entrepreneurship program year round, with each grade of students participating for one trimester. This format will allow students time over their three years, to learn more advanced topics in the entrepreneurship curriculum. It will also allow for teaching entrepreneurship across the curriculum. E Prep values entrepreneurial thinking and has chosen the most important trait of successful entrepreneurs as one of its keys to success- perseverance.