Bezos found his enlightenment from the decision to leave Wall Street at the age of 30.
“The wake-up call,” Bezos has been quoted as saying, “was finding this startling statistic that web usage in the spring of 1994 was growing at 2,300 percent a year.”
“You know, things just don’t grow that fast,” he has said. “It’s highly unusual, and that started me about thinking, What kind of business plan might make sense in the context of that growth?”
After creating a list of 20 products to potentially sell online, Bezos settled on books because of their low cost and universal demand. He had the resources, but sadly, many girls today do not.
Girls especially need this kind of education because:
- The gig economy demands it — 50 million employees, girls included, will operate as a freelancer.
- Entrepreneurship is the mindset of the future. Companies want that adaptability, flexibility, collaboration and ability to see ahead of the curve, like Bezos.
- School teaching is actually limited. And the programs that do exist face challenges engaging girls.
- Girls programming has proved to double confidence and increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills, such as digital savviness, awareness and intelligence.
Every parent wants their daughter to succeed — to reach her potential — but how can she do this if we don’t equip her with the business skills for the future of work? Here’s what needs to be done.
Don’t assume entrepreneurship is only for entrepreneurs. Just because a young woman wants to follow a STEM, professional or traditional business career path doesn’t mean she won’t need an entrepreneurial mindset.
Business leaders such as Bezos, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey were first entrepreneurs, and it was those skills that set them apart and gave them the ability to execute. The workforce is changing, and the emphasis from employers is on making things happen. Let’s give girls and young women the tools to do this, whatever career she is in.
It’s essential to provide entrepreneurship training. The high school years are not too early to teach real business and entrepreneurship. Girls are capable, and it’s up to educators, parents, mentors, etc., to give them the tools.
In fact, 87 percent of Girls with Impact members are creating real business plans, launching ventures and getting press. In the process, they’re differentiating themselves, learning about money, goals, timelines and even agile development.