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Entrepreneurweek.com – Business Resources

Entrepreneurweek.com is a blog that is designed to consolidate information for and about entrepreneurs.  There is one blog, in particular, that I would like to focus on called “Why Are More Women Choosing Entrepreneurship Over the Workplace?”

What is it?

This is a blog about why more women are deciding to enter into the field of entrepreneurship rather than the workplace.  It discusses factors including: being able to create their own work environment, carve out time for family, break through their income limits, and help those in their communities.

What do I like about it?

  • Lists several factors and then elaborates on them.
  • Recent (February 2012).
  • References multiple resources (accuracy).
  • User friendly.
  • Well organized.
  • Language and words are understandable.
  • Short, engaging read.

What do I dislike about it?

  • Only picture provided is just of a women in a business suit.
  • Limited reasons as to why there are more women entrepreneurs (there are more reasons but there are also the typical reasons like being the boss and pursuing passion).
  • Advertisements (distraction).

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This fits in with module 18 of the Entrepreneurship 30 curriculum.  Learning objective 18.3 (pg 71) states: “To identify reasons why more women are becoming entrepreneurs than ever before.  To examine factors that have influenced the changing career patterns or paths of women and men.”  This blog more helps to achieve the first sentence in the learning objective as this is the main purpose of writing this particular blog.  This also does work toward the second one in a way because it does discusses why women want to be entrepreneurs which are factors that impact a person’s choice of career.

In the classroom, what I might first do is brainstorm ideas about why more women are becoming entrepreneurs today than ever before.  Then, I could get my students to read the article and discuss in groups what they discovered and if they might have any new ideas .  While doing this, the students will complete a worksheet that shows what the students discovered and maybe ask them to think of at least one or two reasons why more women are becoming entrepreneurs.  Once completed, I would get the class together to discuss these answers.

Because this is an optional module, I might only get a certain amount of students to work on this module and get groups to work on different ones so that we can cover a large amount of optional but important material at one time.

If I didn’t use this article inside the class, I believe it (and as well as the website) would be great to be made available for my students via a class blog or by email.

Evaluation of Entrepreneurweek.com

Overall, this site is very user friendly and all blogs posted are related to entrepreneurs.  If students were to get distracted by other blogs on this site, it is all about entrepreneurs anyways so it’s not exactly a bad thing for them to get distracted.  I didn’t go through all the blogs (which there are tons! So that might be an impossible task), but the ones that I did read were interesting reads and good resources (maybe for outside of the class though).

If I had to give this website a numerical value, I would give it a 9.5/10 and the actual resource (blog) a 7/10.

SBTA Website – Business Resources

What is it?

The SBTA website is the website for the Saskatchewan Business Teachers’ Association which is an association directed by educators, associated members, and superannuated teachers who have an interest in business education.  This website provides awards, networking opportunities, PD events, and resources for members of this association.  Particularly what I am looking at is the “links” section found on the homepage tab on the left hand side.

What do I like about it?

  • Organized.
  • User friendly.
  • Provides links for every business course offered in Saskatchewan.
  • Open’s links in new tab so you don’t have to continually retype in the web URL or click “back” a bunch of times.
  • Links provided lead to resources and websites with information about textbooks that could be used in a business classroom.
  • Provides general tools, teaching aids, and business journals and newspapers.

Looking through some of the links:

http://www.lemonadegame.com/ this is a website that brings you immediately to a game where you are selling lemonade at a lemonade stand.  This game makes you take into consideration different factors that might affect sales, customer satisfaction, etc.  This is engaging and could be great in an entrepreneur class!

Under financial planning, the link “Test your Investment Know-How” brings you to this:

I don’t see anything about testing your knowledge about investing.  I even tried searching for this in the website search box and nothing popped up, so I feel this wasn’t a useful resource and makes me believe they don’t always check their links to make sure they’re right or working.

What do I dislike about it?

  • Only provides links.  There is no description of the website or what the website has to offer for teachers.  Basically left to go explore on your own which isn’t always a bad thing but for teachers who are strapped for time, a brief description would be helpful.
  • A few of the links that I looked at didn’t bring me to where I thought I was going (see above example).

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This fits into all business curriculum.  If I ever need to find a resource to help me teach a business class or just find general information about that course I could go under the categories and easily pick out links to look at.  Some of the resources, like the lemonade stand, I would use with my students in an Entrepreneurship class to help them become aware of factors affecting a business’s sales and what and how much to purchase for supplies.

Evaluation of the SBTA website.

The website is a user friendly and well-organized website that provides great resources for business teachers to consider using.  For the most part, they provide more than one link per category in case you don’t want to use a certain one or are looking for more ideas.  Some of the resources are engaging and usable in a classroom and others are just there to help teachers find more resources or provide information on the subject that they are teaching.

If I had to give this website a numerical value, I would give it a 8/10 and the resource (lemonade stand) a 8/10.

Bizmove.com – Business Resource

Bizmove.com is a website that contains information about small business management.  What will be useful in my teaching, and what I will be focusing on, is the Entrepreneurship test.

Online Entrepreneur Test.

What is it?

This is a quiz that gives you a rating from 0-100 on your current traits and characteristics for being an entrepreneur or business manager.

What do I like about it?

  • Multiple choice.
  • Gives an introduction as to why taking an entrepreneur test is important or knowing if you have the required thinking/skills to be a successful entrepreneur/business manager.
  • Helps to make students aware of the traits and characteristics of a successful entrepreneur/ business manager.
  • Provides a detailed score.
  • Describes traits and characteristics of an entrepreneur/business manager at the end.
  • User friendly.
  • Short (only 10 questions long so you could use this as a quick introduction).
  • Easy to understand questions.
  • Does not give a score until all answers are completed (this can make sure students don’t receive a lower score for missing a question – accuracy).
  • Score is given in a small box.  The score is small and doesn’t stand out so if a student doesn’t want other students knowing their score, it’s not easy for other students to find.
  • Straight forward results (doesn’t embellish answers).

What don’t I like about it?

  • Not visually appealing (no colour or pictures).
  • If a student gets a 40 or below, the answer for this is very hurtful, it could cause students to lose hope, and send off the message that they are not capable of developing these skills.  As it says “Forget your dreams of being your own boss, it’s not for you.”  The answer for this is very degrading, could cause students to lose confidence, and does not give students any hope to becoming an entrepreneur.  I believe that if someone really wants to do something, they will work hard and do whatever it takes to be successful at it.  With that said, I will give credit that it is honest and accurate.  I actually tried to get below a 40, and the answers I would had to have picked are those that show you don’t have any decision making ability or leadership qualities which are extremely important for an entrepreneur/business manager, so in all honesty, if a student doesn’t have those skills, they may not be cut out for the job.  However, what I would have liked to have seen was maybe an answer that says, “Right now, becoming an entrepreneur is not a career choice you will want to make.  However, if you work towards having these skills and characteristics (lists skills and characteristics), you may still have a chance at becoming an entrepreneur but it will take some determination and hard work.”  One thing that I did find on this website on the management skills tab, it does provide self development tips to constantly improve your abilities so maybe once students have completed the quiz, they could be referred to this for help.
  • Sometimes I felt that I couldn’t answer some of the questions with complete honesty because I didn’t feel that I fit into one of the three choices.

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This fits into the Entrepreneurship 30 curriculum.  Specifically, it can be used for learning objective 3.1 in Module 3 (pg 16) which states: “To outline the common characteristics of entrepreneurs and provide examples.”  This quiz would be a good way of introducing the skills needed to be an entrepreneur if you ask the students to examine the questions the quiz is asking and to determine what skills the quiz is focusing on.  This will also allow them to have a deeper understanding of some of the skills/characteristics needed in which the class can later discuss what they concluded.

Also, this works for learning objective 3.2 (pg 17) of the same module which states:  “To provide opportunities for students to assess their personal entrepreneurial skills and plan means of growing in those areas in which students are either weak or deficient.”  As is the purpose of the quiz, this gives students an awareness of where their skills/characteristics are at in relation to those of a successful entrepreneur and which areas they need to improve on (If you wanted to complete both 3.1 and 3.2 at the same time, this is one activity that could accomplish both).

If you do choose to use this resource, or one similar to it, you can also refer back to it in later sections of the course, for example when working towards learning objective 3.3 which states: “To summarize personal entrepreneurial skills and demonstrate these skills in a variety of situations.”  In the notes section, it states “Students may complete a checklist or rating scale of their personal entrepreneurial skills at the beginning of the course, at selected intervals throughout the course, and again at the end of the course.  This will help determine the progress made in achieving entrepreneurial skills.”  This resource is a quick and easy way to evaluate the progress of the skills and characteristics developed in the course and it also allows the teacher to see what skills he/she needs to work on with the class and if what he/she is teaching is benefiting the students at all.

One other way I would use this in the classroom is to do this at the beginning of the unit to see where my students are at in terms of their skills and characteristics.  If they are all lacking in these, I would want to focus more on developing these and provide more resources for students to improve, whereas if students all received high grades from this quiz, I would know they are most likely proficient in these skills and characteristics enough and therefore wouldn’t need to spend AS MUCH time on them.  In addition, this tells me which skills and characteristics specifically I need to focus on developing with my students.

Evaluation of bizmove.com

The site overall is a good resource for students to look at if they are looking to learn and develop skills and characteristics that will allow them to become successful entrepreneurs.  The quiz is a good resource to use if you are looking to make students aware of the skills/characteristics of a successful entrepreneur and it also allows them evaluate their skills in respect to this.  I would use this quiz as an introduction to learning objective 3.2 maybe in conjunction with another quiz to test their entrepreneurial skills and characteristics.  Also, I would inform the students that this is just a quiz, they are not always correct, and this is just an evaluation of them at this moment and that I intend to help them improve and grow to become successful entrepreneurs.

If I had to give this site a numerical value, I give it a 8/10 and the actual resource a 7/10.