Social Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship Leadership: Throughout the social entrepreneurship lessons, students begin to explore the real-world context and relevance of essential entrepreneurial skills. Students do this, autonomously, collaboratively, and in partnership with a vast array of professionals. The Dream Leaders program teaches and exemplifies an entrepreneurial mindset, providing the necessary preparation for the new economy, and the complex demands of 21st Century global citizenship.

 

 

Action Project

Social Enterprises: With the guidance of mentors from the workforce community, students channel their learning into the creation of social impact enterprises; to apply business principles to ventures that drive profit and solve critical social issues.  Although the students will certainly be inspired to launch their social impact ventures, the work required to build sustainable ventures extends beyond the scope of this initial course. Thus the final project in this course is to Pitch a business venture to potential investors/funders, amplifiers, and collaborators.

Our Program

What?

Dream Leaders is an inquiry and project-based program focused on social entrepreneurship and impact. The micro-course is composed of 10 lessons, each which invites learning that is personal, relevant, and pragmatic. The curriculum drives student learning into the world through self-reflection, network building, and the development of academic, pre-professional, executive functioning, and non-cognitive skills. Youth Enterprise Solutions (YES) supplies the program curriculum. It is delivered using Classcraft’s innovative, award-winning gamified Engagement Management System (think of it as an LMS powered by fun!). The experience is designed to motivate and connect students by turning their progress into a game they play together throughout their education.

Youth Enterprise Solutions is a social enterprise that develops state of the art and practical social entrepreneurship curriculum.

Classcraft is a world-class Engagement Management System (EMS) that provides a robust set of tools while connecting real-life intervention with engagement data. This system has a profound impact on educational outcomes that are key to student success.

How?

The curriculum is delivered in school and after school, by teachers and mentors, who are trained by DFK staff on the Classcraft online gaming learning platform. In the second phase of the learning experience, the student is guided by a professional mentor from the community and builds a social enterprise project that solves a social problem.

Mentors are community volunteers and employees of sponsor companies.

The principles and theories of entrepreneurship are presented in video format while providing stated objectives to achieve to advance in the game.

Overview of the Social Impact Curriculum: See this video or view itemized list below.

Lessons 1-3, introduce Entrepreneurship.

  • Is entrepreneurship for you?
  • How is social entrepreneurship different?
  • What must you know to build a business?
  • How do people work together?
  • Who are you as an individual and team member?

 

Lessons 4-8 present the Business Case. 

  • Managing your enterprise
  • Identifying your client
  • Marketing your enterprise
  • Selling your product or service

 

Lessons 8-10 is Making the Pitch.

  • Creating the 90-120 second video
  • Communicate your mission and vision
  • Market, competition, marketing, sales, projections
  • Pitch, Story-line, and Purpose 
  • Launching the Social Enterprise

 

Who?

Since the Classcraft platform is national and global, with over 6 million students enrolled, our Dream Leaders YES curriculum is available in any place you are. Students are middle school age and older.

We are actively looking for partners.  If you are a youth organization, school, community organizations, corporate or other small business, or individual wishing to make a difference, contact us today for a test run of Dream Leaders YES curriculum on Classcraft!

Students are not the only ones impacted by this course. Educators and mentors will experience a paradigm-shifting approach to learning and one that they too will carry into their professional work. Mentors are expected to “walk the talk” before they support the student journey. Training by DFK staff and access to training modules is through online learning platforms, on the same online learning platform that hosts the student’s digital curriculum.

We have learned that, in general, educators underestimate the capacity of the potential of youths, much the same way they underestimate the abilities of students with disabilities. In particular, we have discovered that capability extends to teens being leaders of impact today. As our students say, “We aren’t the problem; we’re the solution.” 

Where?

Since the Classcraft digital platform is national and global, with over 6 million students enrolled, our YES curriculum is available in any place you are.

We are actively looking for partners.  If you are a youth organization, school, community organizations, corporate or other small business, or individual wishing to make a difference, contact us today for a test run of YES on Classcraft!

Why?

Our general youth population faces unprecedented challenges in this transformational age. Our local and global landscape is evolving in the face of significant resistance. Youth face mounting social issues today – elimination of jobs, political upheaval, environmental threats, and an education system that all too often fails to prepare them. 

There is a critical need to prepare youth as college and job-ready global citizens. There is an education gap in school for necessary entrepreneurship training. Within the next seven years, nearly 50% of the existing jobs will have disappeared. New jobs, through enterprise building, must be created, by entrepreneurs. Even employees must learn an entrepreneurial mindset to help their companies grow and adapt to an ever-changing marketplace.

Dream Leaders fills an education gap, connects students with disabilities to their non-disabled peers, urban students to students from affluent backgrounds. The program supports them all, together, with mentors, and empowers them by defeating the perception they are not able.  As our students say, “We aren’t the problem; we’re the solution.” 

DFK’s service-learning model is proven; now, our Dream Leaders YES curriculum provides practical education and introduces youths with disabilities as the solution. Youth need to be able to access real, relevant, and life-changing curriculum in their own time, space, and at their own pace. Students who face barriers to learning in mainstream environments need this to be possible during out of school time and with the use of assisted technologies, supported by meaningful individualized, growth-oriented feedback.

If we brought students together with their diverse peers, and let them learn together, create change together, it will change how they see themselves. And it will change how others see them. 

Imagine a group of students from the urban Westside of Chicago, working and learning alongside students from rural Pennsylvania, affluent Maryland, and Washington D.C. Imagine how that new worldview changes all the students. Now imagine them creating social enterprises that impact local issues. Consider the profound impact of a group of students segregated by distance and education, now discovering their common bond and shared humanity. And bringing change to communities in desperate need of it.

 

Support the Approach