Entrepreneurship course proposed for Wilton High School

Wilton High School business teacher Kathy Soderholm and Assistant Principal Amy Korn are proposing an Entrepreneurship course for next fall, designed to give students experience in starting and running a business.

Wilton High School currently offers a semester course in international business, but Soderholm told the Board of Education during its Oct. 27 meeting that she “quickly realized that the students didn’t really have enough business knowledge to take business to the international level.”

“It got me thinking that maybe a better fit for our students would be a course in entrepreneurship,” she said.

“There’s a lot of research currently showing that the age of entrepreneurs is lowering. A lot of younger people are wanting to be their own boss and start their own businesses, so I wanted to provide [students] with the basis to do that.”

The entrepreneurship course would replace international business and focus on “recognizing a business opportunity, starting a business based on the recognized opportunity, and operating and maintaining that business,” according to the course proposal.

Each entrepreneurship student would use “a variety of learning experiences and 21st Century learning expectations” to build a business plan and start either a business or business simulation, according to the proposal.

Soderholm said the proposed course would be one semester long.

“The first quarter would be just learning the principles of how to run a business, and then the second quarter would be to start a business,” she said.

“I’m thinking of it as somewhat of a competition, where groups would have to come up with ideas for businesses that they could run.”

Soderholm suggested bringing community members in to hear students’ business proposals, picking one, and then having the class run the business.

Even if the business isn’t financially successful, Soderholm said, “it would certainly be a pretty good life experience” for the students.

Since the course would replace international business, there would be no impact on staffing.

An estimated $3,000 would be needed for textbooks, e-books and supplemental materials. Since the course would be in the applied arts curriculum, those costs could be covered by Carl Perkins Funds.

The Board of Education will vote on the entrepreneurship course at a later meeting. Its next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m., in the Wilton High School Professional Library.