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I received this comment from Ken Cadow a high school teacher and administrator in Vermont. The comment was in response to my most recent post on the closing of SBDC centers across Illinois. Ken poses some interesting thoughts for us. If you would like to respond to Ken's comment or wish additional information from him – please email me at pscha2@illinois.edu

Thanks Ken these are some great ideas for building entrepreneurial communities.

Hello Pam,

In the short amount of time I have, I couldn't find a way to comment on your post regarding the shut-downs of this excellent sounding program. I agree--banks should take a stand. I also think we (universities, business people, legislators) need to publicly demand that our public high schools do more to foster the inherent entrepreneurial spirit of our children.

I am a high school teacher and administrator, presently teaching a class called "Introduction to Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship." This class is a result of my efforts to move career awareness and strength-based learning beyond Career Tech Ed centers and into liberal arts / college prep secondary education: i.e., the traditional high school. If such facilities as the SBDCs of Illinois are closing down, it is also because we aren't focusing enough on the feed lines: the future users. I am working with folks at our local incubator, the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, to create a high school curriculum for Entrepreneurship (at present, I'm winging it a little bit, a la entrepreneurial style), and we're putting together something awesome. In Randolph, our local CED corp just held their first facilitated small business start-up monthly meeting. It was the first meeting ever, said the facilitator, where high school students had been in attendance.

The great thing about Common Core is that math models are one of the standards--and we're using this as an excuse to request that our teachers build business model creation into their syllabi. We're also doing everything we can to ensure that the habits & traits that make for successful entrepreneurs aren't squelched as part of a graduation requirement!

You may have already reached out to your public schools to try to foster the next generations of entrepreneurs, but if you haven't, I'd be happy to give you some buzz words (math modeling being one) that might perk the ears of math & science teachers and administrators.

Good luck!

Ken Cadow