Educating Future Founders by Rob May

Taken from the foreword of the Educating Future Founders report by Westminster think tank The Entrepreneurs Network, ABE's chief executive, Rob May, talks about why ABE is supporting this campaign which calls on entrepreneurship education to be included in the school curriculum.


We tell our children to dream big... and they do. Young people are bursting with imagination. They soak up knowledge, they take risks and are natural collaborators and inventors. Despite this, when I visit schools around the world, the question I get asked most often by children as CEO of ABE Global is “How can I become an entrepreneur?”

New research that we have supported at ABE from The Entrepreneurs Network shows that students as young as eleven should have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship in order to develop the skills and mindset necessary to prosper in the modern economy. 

As children begin to return to school post-lockdown, I believe that there should be a sense of urgency if we are to equip them with the skills they need to thrive in the post-pandemic modern economy. If there was ever a moment to inspire a younger generation of entrepreneurs, it is today. 

In too many countries, entrepreneurship education remains largely bracketed in universities and business schools, which are only accessible to a small minority. We are missing a trick. As Educating Future Founders argues, there is a lot of evidence from around the world showing that earlier interventions can develop traits that are key to entrepreneurial success, such as creativity, persistence, and communication. 

Educating Future Founders also reveals that entrepreneurship education at an early age also has benefits beyond business creation – making people more employable. It suggests there is an untapped opportunity to promote economic development and reduce unemployment by expanding access to entrepreneurship education to secondary school students particularly within developing countries. 

This research takes a wide perspective, examining the case for school-age entrepreneurship education across multiple countries and cultures. The results of these interventions speak for themselves but combined for the very first time in one conclusive report, they offer policymakers and educators vital context for rethinking curriculum planning.

With close to 50 years’ experience in business skills development, ABE is delighted to support this exciting research programme because we passionately believe that both children and society stand to benefit greatly from early entrepreneurship education. Educating Future Founders shows that it doesn’t take much to motivate young people to think like entrepreneurs. This report should persuade us all to take immediate steps.

Read the full report here.