EntrepreneurShip Investigation offers youths entrepreneurial skills

News Update -- May 28, 2007 

(Grand Island Independent) -- A new Nebraska 4-H entrepreneur curriculum is designed to help youths ages 10-19 learn to think like entrepreneurs and help them to become entrepreneurs in their own communities someday. 

The EntrepreneurShip Investigation, or ESI, curriculum will help schools, 4-H clubs and other youth organizations explore entrepreneurial education, said Patricia Fairchild, 4-H youth development curriculum specialist. 

"Youths are moving to larger communities for economic opportunities, and populations continue to decline in many rural communities," Fairchild said. "This curriculum will allow schools to explore entrepreneurial education and fulfill a demand for quality entrepreneurial education materials, especially for middle school children." 

A pilot of the new curriculum is being conducted in several communities this summer. It will be available nationwide in January 2008. 

"The curriculum will be accessible and affordable," Fairchild said. "What makes this unique is that it's comprehensive, holistic and sequential and its emphasis is with the community. It's technology-based." 

Youths can explore opportunities for starting their own business as well, she said. 

"It also can be used by local community organizations and associations to promote youth entrepreneurs and by extension community resource development educators," she said. 

For more information about ESI, contact Fairchild at (402) 472-4067 or Diane Vigna at (402) 472-6318. 

To order the curriculum in Nebraska, contact a local UNL Extension office. For out-of-state orders, call (402) 472-9713 or fax (402) 472-0542. 

ESI partners include the Nebraska Department of Education, Hometown Competitiveness, NETForce and former U.S. Rep. Tom Osborne's congressional office. 

4-H is part of UNL Extension in the university's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.