November is Entrepreneurship Month. To mark the occasion, Junior Achievement is releasing The States of Entrepreneurship in America report for 2019.
In the fall 2019, Junior Achievement USA® undertook a review of states' reporting standards, guidelines, and proficiencies in entrepreneurship education for grades K–12. Junior Achievement has found a substantial increase in entrepreneurial education efforts at both the state level and district level.
As a result of the 2018 reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, states are now required to offer entrepreneurship education in their career and technical education (CTE) pathways. The Act has increased the subject's coverage nationally from 36 percent in 2015 to 98 percent today. Despite entrepreneurship courses being available in 49 states, only 27 states reported entrepreneurship as a topic within a required course or within a CTE pathway, meaning students not pursuing CTE are less likely to be exposed to lessons in entrepreneurship.
"This report shows that great progress has been made in making entrepreneurship education more available to K-12 students, but in most instances, it is still up to the kids themselves to opt-in to these programs," said Jack E. Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. "Given that startups are engines for innovation and small businesses are the leading job creators in the country, it's important that we try to engage young people with the concepts of entrepreneurship."
One way Junior Achievement is doing this is through the implementation of JA Launch Lesson. JA Launch Lesson is a 50-minute educational experience built around the theme of entrepreneurship that creates a point-of-entry for students, volunteers and educators. It is delivered locally by entrepreneurs in classrooms, after-school facilities, and other student venues around the United States during National Entrepreneurship Month. Entrepreneurs are provided a guide by Junior Achievement that gives them the opportunity to connect with students, provide relevant information about their company and entrepreneurial journey, and share advice and next steps for students who are interested in starting their own business. The initiative reaches nearly 80,000 high school students each year.