Here in my weeks at Operation HOPE, I’ve been conducting research on key features that make entrepreneurship education programs more effective. I’ve poured over countless studies to make sure that Operation HOPE’s programs incorporate the best practices for optimizing outcomes:
(1) Close relationship with the local community make the entrepreneurship program more effective and efficient.
Local community groups tend to be more effectively rooted in their area. That’s why Operation HOPE partners with countless organizations across the country — we introduce a national curriculum and then we personalize it, catering our content to the area. Best of all, through community collaboration, kids have the opportunity to practice their new skills in the very communities where they’ll need them. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
(2) The programs are designed to meet specific individual needs and interests
Sometimes kids just don’t connect with a curriculum that they can’t transfer to their daily lives. Operation HOPE emphasizes flexible programming to keep kids engaged and learning at their full potential. While our programming is offered to a wide variety of kids – some from L.A and others all the way in Soweto, South Africa — our individualized curriculums keep things relevant and interesting for anyone involved.
(3) Mentors in the program play a crucial role in developing ideas in youth
This one is critical. Kids are most receptive to people they look up to. Our Fellowship, Internship, and Loaned Executives Program (FILE) program’s focus on individual training is perfect for cultivating mentorship relationships.
Students meet the heroes of the professional and nonprofit world and look more optimistically on their own futures. Mentors pass on their experiences to students to help young people form realistic, achievable goals for their careers. That’s why HOPE interns are so successful after they leave the position for greater horizons.
(4) Entrepreneurship education program provides a venue for kids to gain hands-on experiences.
Everyone knows that textbooks don’t quite fill the gap when it comes to a professional education. Young people need experiences more than anything to inform their decisions and improve their performance.
Aside from our FILE program, Operation HOPE partners with organizations that engage their clients in community-based entrepreneurial programs. So even when Operation HOPE’s presence isn’t as strong in your community, expect us to help out local internship programs and training workshops with supplemental curriculum and assistance.
(5) Entrepreneurship education program intends to incentivize entrepreneurial behavior of young students by funding their idea
One of the reasons why the education programs provide seed money is to reinforce their entrepreneurial behavior. Operation HOPE doesn’t just stop at lesson plans – the HOPE Business-in-a-Box program gives kids funds to start their own entrepreneurial initiatives. With more autonomy and real-life problem solving experience, kids take on the role of an entrepreneur with better skill and enthusiasm.