National Entrepreneurship Week: A Conversation with CEO John Schapiro

Are entrepreneurs naturally born or is the entrepreneurial spirit something that can be learned? According to EntreEd, the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, it’s not a natural gift but a teachable craft that must be explored and refined. With that belief in mind, alongside a desire to inspire business owners of the future, National Entrepreneurship Week was born. The week is dedicated to highlighting the importance of fostering entrepreneurial goals as well as showcasing the work EntreEd does to bring entrepreneurial education programs to American schools. These programs provide a variety of resources for teachers and students, offering exciting ways to integrate entrepreneurial thinking and experience into their classrooms.

This was a terrific opportunity to speak with our CEO and resident entrepreneur, John Schapiro, to get his input on the leaders of tomorrow.

1.As an entrepreneur, what is your stance on bringing entrepreneurship education to classrooms?

Interestingly enough, one of my goals is to become a professor and teach entrepreneurship. It’s an area of study that is absolutely crucial. It can take a great deal of time to determine if you have the entrepreneurial mindset to build, run and maintain a business. Any extra time a future entrepreneur can have to strengthen mental fortitude, learn how to take smart risks, thrive in ambiguity and bounce back from mistakes or failures is key. Why not start learning in the classroom?

2.How will the entrepreneurs of tomorrow affect our society?

The entrepreneurs of tomorrow will certainly be leaders in technology. This doesn’t mean that they will always be techies themselves but they will know how to grow their business amidst a vastly changing technological landscape. They will need the foresight to understand how to make their products or services relevant and competitive in the future.

3.What do budding entrepreneurs need to know in order to succeed?

First, a budding entrepreneur must make an honest determination of their skills and desires. Then ask if those skills and desires are in alignment with the needs of the marketplace. The next step and often the hardest is monetizing those skills and desires which is all about recognizing relevance, making adjustments as needed and having the stamina and foresight to compete.

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