Why High School Entrepreneurship Should be Reinforced with Global Travel

Walk into any high school in the US and you’re likely to see posters hanging on the wall promoting the merits of independence, creativity, and leadership.  Recently, these traits have manifested in the growing trend of entrepreneurship programs, clubs and external organizations available to high school students. These programs stress the importance of teaching students how to structure and implement business plans, create viable strategies for managing companies, and brainstorm creative ideas.  We agree that it’s important to learn all of these foundational skills necessary to start a business. However, the first step to launching a successful business is understanding a real issue and having an innovative answer and approach.  Working on a field project can put all of these business components into practice while helping inspire new ideas.

Field Projects for High School Entrepreneurship

To start with, what do we mean by field project? Field projects can take many shapes and sizes, but we firmly stress that those involving travel – especially international travel with a purpose – inspires and challenges young leaders.  Exposure to new and dynamic parts of the world is an unbeatable learning experience for any student. For entrepreneurship to continue to grow in the US, it is important that the ideas behind the businesses and social enterprises are creative and linked to real people and problems around the world.  Students who are fortunate to have the resources to travel should undoubtedly take advantage of the opportunity and pursue a substantive field project in another country.

Atlas Workshops offers projects which include social entrepreneurship and global business at their core. All of our programs are designed to inspire new ideas – key to business success – while teaching the strategy skills to put together a strong concept plan. This summer, we’re headed to Croatia, India, Scandinavia, and Berlin and Prague.  All of the programs incorporate a blend of design thinking, innovation, research, entrepreneurship, engineering, and city planning.

Global Entrepreneurship for High School Students

Entrepreneurs who travel are likely to have a competitive advantage in the workplace, according to a recent Brightpark Edu-Travel report citing that94% of business leaders in America believe travel experience leads to success in the business world.

When entrepreneurs are away from home, they are exposed to new ideas that can change their values and be the foundation of a successful company. High school entrepreneurship programs that take place abroad can teach key leadership and planning skills.

Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Croatia

This summer for example, in Croatia, we will be exploring the stunning Dalmatian coast as we make our way south towards Dubrovnik, our final destination.  Croatia is home to hundreds of tiny islands, one of the biggest is Korcula.  Last summer, we led a trip where students confronted the challenge Croatia faces as it becomes a leading tourist destination.  Croatia wants the beauty of its islands to be recognized and appreciated by the rest of the world, while still retaining their natural charm.  The students on the trip constructed a plan to help tourism and preserve the cultural integrity of the island.

This summer, we’re set to take over the tiny island of Badija, a completely undeveloped island in Croatia’s archipelago.  We want students to brainstorm ways to “kickstart’ the unpopulated island and put it on the map. The island is currently a forest — so we also want to balance the values of sustainable development with the growing demand and opportunity of the Croatian economy. We can’t wait to see what ideas they come up with!

High School Health Entrepreneurs in India:

In India this summer, we will be exploring global healthcare innovations. Some of the people we will meet and work with are award winning entrepreneurs tackling health issues in the country. These entrepreneurs were inspired by their explorations in India to create new technologies and businesses to improve the quality of life.

While we anticipate some of our students will layout plans for apps and medical devices, we expect others will take a business approach — what new business models can make healthcare more affordable, wide-reaching, or better in India? We expect some project deliverables will be business plans.

Global travel can train and inspire future entrepreneurs to both tackle international social challenges and create ideas that are truly outside of the box. If you are a high school students interested in entrepreneurship, we want to talk with you! You could be a participant on an Atlas Workshops Global Innovator Trip this summer.