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Black History Month: An Opportunity to Encourage Black Youth Entrepreneurship Education

February 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Health, News, Press Releases, Weekly Columns

( The history of blacks in business is an inspiring story of ingenuity and invention in the face of adversity… And our youth should know that long before slavery ended, black Americans were engaged in businesses of their own.

Camden, New Jersey, Feb 3, 2008– Entrepreneurship is a concept that African Americans have embraced for centuries. Our youth should know as much about Anthony Johnson and Thomas Jennings as they do about Oprah and P Diddy. Ex-slave Anthony Johnson became one of Virginia’s wealthy landowners in 1651. African American Thomas Jennings was issued a patent in 1821 for his invention that revolutionized the dry cleaning process for clothes.

Why entrepreneurship education? Nationwide, more than 65 percent of high school students say they want to start their own businesses, and 85 percent want to learn about starting businesses while they are still in school. Likewise, educators and policymakers are now recognizing the importance of making entrepreneurship education and training a lifelong process. Because entrepreneurship education links classroom education with real-world experience, more and more schools and youth organizations are teaching business development and entrepreneurship related skills as part of their educational strategies.

Despite gains, the nation’s middle and high school-aged minority populations still lag behind in educational attainment, self-esteem and motivation. The well-documented disparities between black and white school-aged young people are especially telling. And if the small business owners of tomorrow are indeed in our schools today, we clearly have to do more to make education more relevant to young African Americans.

This reality motivated George Waters and Aaron Bocage, the founders of The Education, Training and Enterprise Center (EDTEC), to write Making Money the Old-Fashioned Way: A Story of Black Entrepreneurship. The book provides an accurate chronicle of the rich entrepreneurial history of African Americans and serves as a valuable how-to-guide to help youth succeed in the world of entrepreneurship.

EDTEC is a nationally recognized firm providing innovative products and services for economic development and youth entrepreneurship. The Camden New Jersey based firm’s pioneering entrepreneurship education work also include the New Youth Entrepreneur (NYE), an award winning curriculum designed to a teach youth about starting and operating businesses.

During this Black History month celebration, let’s talk to our youth about Black men and women who dared to dream…who made opportunity where none existed. Let’s encourage entrepreneurship education.

George Waters
309 Market Street
Camden, New Jersey 08102
(800) 963-9361

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