By Michael Niehoff
Education Content Coordinator, iLEAD Schools
When learners adopt and embrace an entrepreneurial mind-set, they develop a way of thinking that empowers them to overcome challenges, be decisive and accept responsibility for outcomes. It’s with this in mind that Empower Generations facilitator Jose Ramos created the Business Workshop for his learners.
Ramos, inspired by new businesses that launched during the pandemic, said he’s seen how local entrepreneurs have navigated tough times to be successful. He partnered with five local businesses — two food enterprises, two clothing companies and one local farm — whose leaders agreed to have Ramos’s learners intern with them.
“I wanted the learners to work with local businesses instead of large chains,” Ramos said. “I thought this might create an even greater sense of community.”
In the Business Workshop, Ramos gave his learners the opportunity to see firsthand how entrepreneurs make decisions that affect their overall success.
“In some ways, there had never been an easier time to start a business,” Ramos said. “The pandemic created lots of needs and opportunities, as well as support for local businesses.”
Throughout the Business Workshop, learners applied math, English and foreign language skills to the topics of finance, creative design and marketing. Learners had to create an original logo, ad and FAQ list for their community business partner.
“Most of the learners’ favorite part of this workshop was creating the logos and ads,” Ramos said. “For the ad, they needed to incorporate some form of ethos, pathos or logos.”
Through the workshop, learners developed invaluable skills and relationships, according to Ramos.
“The learners enjoyed collaborating with their local business partners,” Ramos said. “Our business partners recognized that our learners are creative and need authentic outlets for their creativity.”
Having already studied budgeting and finance in the past, learners applied their knowledge and skills throughout the workshop. The experience has given each learner the opportunity to build a solid foundation as an entrepreneur.