The Kidizens Young Leaders and Entrepreneurs Program offers a higher level of challenge and learning to 5th-8th graders as well as our graduating “kidizens” who have completed our Kidizens and Young Senators programs. The program offers students an opportunity to build upon their basic knowledge of social studies, civics and economics, acquired previously through school, other programs or in our regular Kidizens or Young Senators programs. It is a real-life journey that further enhances their understanding of many civic and economic concepts, such as government, economy, geography, the environment, and much more. In line with the Kidizens philosophy, the Young Leaders embark upon a guided discovery of real world lessons and strategies while building critical skills such as teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, written communication, public speaking and of course leadership.
The Kidizens Young Leaders Program in its Spring session focusses on developing the Young Entrepreneurs – cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit while developing the young businessman or businesswoman that resides in every child. The Kidizens Entrepreneurial Program is similar to our basic ‘Young Entrepreneurs’ unit but allows students to go one step further and study businesses in their own communities, providing the framework, environment and platform for them to launch real-world businesses. In this program, the students account for many market-based factors and constantly refine their ideas based on these market factors, as well as on feedback from real-life business owners. Using this information and input, students will create a business pitch that will be delivered to a panel of entrepreneurs and/or executives from the community. Working in pairs, the young entrepreneurs will generate their own original business concept and then analyze and plan their own businesses. They then take the steps of any real-world business, planning a budget, creating a marketing plan, doing research & development, and finding and fine-tuning their target audience.
The students also take on a mentoring responsibility, serving as board members, investors and strategic partners for the younger students’ LEGO-based businesses. Overall, it’s an opportunity to become an entrepreneur and learn every aspect of business, from sales and marketing to manufacturing and management.
In addition to wearing the hats of Young Entrepreneurs, students will also put on the hats of policy makers who will make decisions relating to their business environment – the laws and policies of their city that will affect them as business owners. As policymakers, they will have the opportunity to affect the policies of their city that can alter the macroeconomic performance with an overall goal to improve the economic environment under which their business will operate. Building with LEGOs and responding to challenging messages, protests and suggestions from residents and cabinet advisors will contribute to learning on the job, while having lots of fun!