Aug 10 2012
As Henry Ford, Richard Sears and other trailblazing entrepreneurs cemented their business empires in the early 20th century, two of their lesser-known peers — also with no advanced education — laid the foundation of a different legacy.
In Massachusetts in 1919, Theodore Vail, president of AT&T, and Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper, founded what might be the first extra-curricular entrepreneurial program in the country — Junior Achievement, which taught high school students the skills of the trade after school hours.
Now, programs of Colorado-based Junior Achievement reach more than 4 million students a year; in particular, its JA Be Entrepreneurial program focuses on challenging students to start their own entrepreneurial venture while still in high school.
JA is hardly alone. In places like Philadelphia, Lincoln, Neb., Portland, Ore., and Syracuse, N.Y., cities, schools and not-for-profit organizations are teaching entrepreneurial studies to kids well before they reach college age.
“These are desperate times; we’re facing great challenges in the global economy,” says Ted Zoller, a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurship program and a professor at the University of Carolina-Chapel Hill. “People are really hungry for heroes.” http://www.cnbc.com/id/48551848