In celebration of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, High School of Economics in Bar, a coastal town in Montenegro, in cooperation with a nongovernmental organisation The Entrepreneurship Accelerator organised a series of workshops for elementary students entitled Entrepreneurship through the eyes of elementary students. A team of young experts consisted of Ajla Mustafalić, Tijana Brzić and Violeta Žudić (myself) delivered a set of lectures on entrepreneurship and personal development in several elementary schools in Bar.
Selected workshops aimed to promote the idea and importance of entrepreneurship more creatively and excitingly to elementary students in Bar because learning more about such a topic is becoming increasingly popular and relevant nowadays. Starting your own business, thinking creatively and designing innovative products or services are activities that set individuals apart from the masses. Entrepreneurship is not just a boring business with no soul; it is a way of life and behaviour that could develop a person – was the main message that was delivered by lecturers. Introducing elementary school students to entrepreneurship in this way helps to change the perception of its meaning to young people.
During the workshops, some situations proved that youngsters view entrepreneurship as it is presented to them through a set of basic stereotypes. “My dad is an entrepreneur. He is always surrounded by numerous papers and is constantly sitting in one room in one place. He deals with numbers a lot, and I find it very boring and difficult.” said one of the youngster who shared her thoughts on why she is not interested in entrepreneurship. Another student believed that entrepreneurs could not be people who are not wearing suits and briefcases, while many of them claimed that they are not creative even though during activities they proved opposite. Such stereotypes and lack of faith in one’s own capabilities is a common problem among young people in Montenegrin society.
One of the reasons for this issue may lay in the approach of the educational system, which promotes entrepreneurship through books and definition rather than through individual experience and creative workshops. Therefore, activities organised during the Global Entrepreneurship Week were intended to show entrepreneurship from a different perspective, and through creative games and challenges. Such an approach demonstrated to be effective as many participants took an active role and made significant contributions. Feedback from workshops encourages organisers to continue with similar activities throughout the year. The main focus of future workshops shall be on leadership, motivation, personal development and similar skills which are needed for an entrepreneur. It will be a long journey with an immense number of challenges, but in the end, it will be also very fruitful for Montenegrin society.