Karsten Machmeyer: We must also teach our children to be founders

There is more to school than just going to school. Entrepreneurship must also be taught in school. Did I just nod fancifully? Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way. I would like to explain it in more detail.

Together with my co-authors, I wrote the children’s and youth book Die Start-Up-Gang. About four kids quickly realize that the dream of starting their own company does not depend on their social background, but rather on a great idea, a great deal of courage, perseverance and the ability to work in a team.

Reaction to the book has been very positive, especially on social media. But there is also malicious criticism – one that is entirely expected. Concretely, traditionalists believe that young people should not be “poisoned” by greed for money.

We must stop taking business and entrepreneurship away from our children

For these whiners, work is still something to steer clear of children and young adults. We have already found it difficult enough to introduce them to the topics of starting a business, self-employment and entrepreneurship in modern forms of teaching.

Those who prefer permanent work only with a fixed salary and fixed hours are the reason why we are still where we are in modern education.

Where is Germany on the subject of digitization? According to a study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), we ranked 76 out of 78 in digital teacher training – only Hungary and Japan are the worst. According to GEW, 33 percent of schools are behind on digital work — they are not well positioned in digital education. Only 12 percent are traded as “digital pioneers”.

This is embarrassing for one of the largest economies!

So how do we manage that we are no longer at the level of a developing country when it comes to digitization and that only three German companies (Volkswagen, Saab, Siemens) are among the 100 most valuable companies in the world? My clear opinion: we have to support startups.

Karsten Machmeyer’s new book (advertisement)

The Startup Gang: Our Greatest Adventure – From Idea to Success

The earlier the entrepreneurial spirit wakes up, the better

Not only does this require legal and tax advantages, the mindset must change above all else. And this starts as early as the teenage years, because that’s when young adults are most creative and imaginative. This is exactly what I’m about.

Children are the most creative people and with their limitless thinking they have the greatest potential for great inventions. That’s why I think it’s important to provide them with an open and inspiring mindset from a very young age. The earlier the entrepreneurial spirit awakens, the better. I am totally convinced of that.

Here, the child’s spirit is not hurt because it learns how great innovations can be. exactly the contrary! This is the only way children can learn the importance of working in diverse teams – because only through each individual’s complementary strengths can more variables and perspectives emerge.

But how do we instill this mentality in children now?

Kids are supposed to write poetry, but they have no idea about taxes and business

  • New canvas! Economics and Entrepreneurship must become part of the curriculum. In addition to the Pythagorean theorem, more can be learned about life. Good topics will also be: taxes, business, and entrepreneurship. Pupils should be able to write a poem with Jump Poetry, but when it comes to the topic of sales, which is important for startups, there are only question marks above their heads. It doesn’t work that way!
  • Create a role model! And what better way to show this than with live examples? The former student who founded the company should be invited and talk about her experience. Communication and presentation are key to achieving this, and this should be valued just as important as vocabulary memorization.
  • Modern ways of thinking! The courses should also include the topic of entrepreneurship. Because teachers are the ones who are supposed to teach our kids later. Exactly they can make the difference!
  • Various examples! The professional world depicted in textbooks seldom has anything groundbreaking on this subject. This does not fit the present, something is missing. There is another way: It has been a common practice in Sweden for decades to show entrepreneurship in textbooks. Why not in Germany yet?
  • Reboot the system! And of course, digitization should move further into schools. No one should be excluded because of their social background. In a concrete sense, this means that schools must be equipped with more laptops, smart boards, and digital teaching materials. By the way: This is also very normal for our neighbors. Currently unimaginable in Germany.

It’s not about getting rich – a healthy hunger for success never hurts anyone

The current situation is as follows: children and young people who understand economics from household utility. And all the others are looking at the tube. It should not continue like this. This has nothing to do with “getting rich” as a goal. It’s about revealing opportunities that unfortunately kids haven’t shown up yet. And a healthy appetite for success never hurt anyone.
Let’s start now: When will the semester in Germany become a workshop of ideas?