Never Underestimate the Student Entrepreneurs in Your Community!

Article by Student Advisory Board Members:

Ashley Lin

Palitha Reddy

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In recent years, the word entrepreneurship has become a buzzword, a trend that’s still climbing. Representative of a rapidly advancing society, entrepreneurship is a field bringing cutting-edge solutions to problems society faces. Entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular with students too. If you asked ten students in grades 5-12 what they hope to do when they grow up, you’ll likely hear some variation of “start my own business” or to “invent something that will change the world.” In fact, according to a recent Gallup student poll, over 40% of students surveyed demonstrated entrepreneurial aspirations. 

More and more student programs and organizations, including the Diamond Challenge, are preparing students with the tools they need to get started. More and more students are being purposeful in what they’re creating—and being entrepreneurs not only to generate income or be their own boss—but because they see a problem and have a solution.

Take competitors in the Diamond Challenge’s social innovation track for example. The primary purpose of ventures created in this track is to “solve a social problem and make a positive impact on people and the environment.” By choosing the social innovation track, students quickly learn just how pervasive and versatile entrepreneurial skills can be. For example, Diamond Challenge participants in the social track must be able to effectively reach the target audience (often done through on-the-ground interviews with people they are trying to serve), but also familiarize themselves with their competitors and competitor strategies (other ventures also working to address the venture—they have to know their community).

Community is at the heart of student entrepreneurs. As students start envisioning making a change in the world, one step at a time, they first try to understand a problem that significantly impacts the people around them. By surveying individuals, conducting an interview, or even knocking door to door to spread their message, student entrepreneurs take the initiative to truly understand the problems that people face–thus, taking the first step to tackle real world problems. Although many individuals want to jump on the next “burning idea” they have, student entrepreneurs possess both a mission and framework, assess the marketplace and their abilities, and choose something that they are passionate about while also having the confidence to execute their plan.

Although not all solutions end up working, the process student entrepreneurs use to solve a problem has the ability to change the community. Furthermore, the skills student entrepreneurs learn, such as negotiation and public speaking, are unquestionably valuable beyond measure as they progress in life. These entrepreneurs have the ability to think creatively, allowing them to find unique solutions to complex problems. Through an interdisciplinary environment, student entrepreneurs inspire ideas at talks and events, create many compelling pitches, and connect to global mentors, clearly showing their potential to positively impact any community. Student entrepreneurs follow excellence, and success follows them.

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About Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.

Follow Horn Entrepreneurship @udhorn and check out our entrepreneurship competition for high school students @diamondchalleng.