Procurify believes in people and organizations that are working to find a better way in their communities and the world at large. We chatted with Kim Cope, founder of Early Entrepreneurs to talk about what she is doing to find a better way to teach the next generation of leaders about entrepreneurship.
What is Early Entrepreneurs and when was it founded?
Early Entrepreneurs (EE) ignites innovation within students through ethical entrepreneurship and philanthropy with impact. We work with educators from kindergarten to grade 12 to bring the most engaging programs and forward-thinking curriculum directly into the classroom through our blended learning platform. We also provide students with real micro-loans so they can run their own small business with proceeds benefiting charities.
I started experimenting with the idea in my last year of University, the summer of 2013. We officially launched this past September.
Why did you decide to found Early Entrepreneurs, and why is the initiative important to you?
I look at entrepreneurship not as a career choice but as a way of thinking. It’s the ability to see a situation and find opportunities where most just point out the problem. I believe we really need more entrepreneurial thinkers if we’re going to tackle any of major problems our world is facing. Through EE we’re empowering all students to think like entrepreneurs, helping them to discover their passions early on in life, all while teaching them to think ethically and act philanthropically.
How has the program grown? What kind of feedback have you received from the students and teachers?
Our classrooms are mainly in BC but we have a few classrooms in Ontario as well. We now have programs for grades k-12 and spent a lot of time on creating the best experience for educators. We always strive to be innovating and improving our program so we take feedback very seriously. We’ve received very positive feedback from both educators and students but know there’s always room for improvement.
Do you believe that you have found a better way to teach kids about entrepreneurship with your program?
I believe entrepreneurship isn’t something that can be taught in a textbook. It’s about getting out there and actually having an experience and that’s what we do best. We could give students a business plan to follow but what would they learn from that besides following direction? By providing guidance, letting them come up with their own ideas, and actually giving them real money to launch their own business, they’re getting real world experience directly in the classroom and we think that’s pretty awesome.
What’s next for Early Entrepreneurs?
We’re very excited to be launching our first Innovation Camp this summer. We’re partnering with some amazing entrepreneurs to create a very unique opportunity for students.
About Kim Cope:
Kim is extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and its potential to change the world and the current education system. Through her social enterprise she ignites innovation in students across the world through ethical entrepreneurship and philanthropy with impact. Prior to launching Early Entrepreneurs, Kim gained great experience working both in the corporate finance world and in three start-ups from three different sectors. In her spare time, Kim enjoys running, boxing and photography.