Hybrid, online, home school and seat-based learning options available.
Check the website of your school of interest for available options during COVID-19.

Entrepreneurial Development Key To iLEAD, Future Of Work

iLEAD AV Learner and Business Project

iLEAD Schools have embraced entrepreneurship from its inception. After all, the ‘E’ in iLEAD stands for Entrepreneurial Development. Foundationally, working in teams, taking risks and learning from failure nurture entrepreneurism. 

Welcome to entrepreneurial education. You can see this entrepreneurial mindset and spirit throughout the iLEAD Learning Community. They are a big part of the iLEAD CTE Pathways. You can see entrepreneurship alive and well in SCVi’s 10th Grade Personal Projects and their Senior Defense Presentations. Each and every year, there are many projects that embrace and incorporate entrepreneurism – often partnering with or connecting to local businesses. Great projects that focus on entrepreneurial skills include examples from high schoolers from Empower Generations, 2nd graders at iLEAD AV and schoolwide from iLEAD Agua Dulce.

The data supports this direction in many ways. Recent surveys showed that 94% of millenials believe that entrepreneurial education is important, 72% of current high schools are interested in being entrepreneurs, and that ⅔ of all learners surveyed have not had any entrepreneurial training or education – or what they have was inadequate

What are these entrepreneurial skills? Well according to Dr. William Redford, who opened Entrepreneur High School a couple of years ago, the focus is on the following: ideating, interviewing, thinking visually, analyzing text and date, working in teams, prototyping, providing feedback, writing, storytelling, experimenting, pitching and reflecting. 

Beyond the skills, Redford believes that an entrepreneurial focus is an ideal avenue for today’s learners and tomorrow’s leaders. 

“It’s really about instilling the mindset of an entrepreneur,” said Redford. “We think this is the ideal way to instill confidence, leadership, persistence and other traits that all learners need to compete at all postsecondary and career options.”

Redford said that the challenge for educators and schools is to create and cultivate learning cultures and environments that truly teach learners to think unconventionally and nurtures unconventional talents and skills. 

Many in the field are also focusing on entrepreneurial curriculum and skills acquisition in the digital realm.  Leading this effort from the higher education level is Arizona State University and their online Prep Digital Program (ASU Prep Digital Courses) which includes four Entrepreneur courses. ASU Prep Digital is even recommending what courses all high schools should take to upskill their entrepreneurial skill set: 7 Courses For Future Entrepreneurs. There are many private companies working to fill this gap and offer various digital entrepreneur education and skill development programs. Odysseyware Small Business Entrepreneurship, Alison and Entre Skills are just a few examples. 

Entrepreneur schools and curriculum/courses are undoubtedly going to continue to expand throughout the K-12 world. However, what could all schools, facilitators and courses begin doing to address this unique skills set seemingly so applicable to the new economic futures of all our learners? Here are a few suggestions:

Learner Startups

What if we created opportunities to launch learner ideas? This is foundational in project-based learning and other related pedagogical approaches. Whether it be in our core or elective classes, what if learners have the chance to not only launch their own ideas and projects? What if their work could be realized in the form of a business or non-profit approach to solving a problem that exists in the real world? Think of a Kickstarter-type instructional approach where learners had to produce final products that were real life business or nonprofit entities that they had to create, produce, brand and go public with as part of the class. Senior Projects, Capstone Projects or Independent Projects such as #20Time / Genius Hour Projects are just a few examples that allow learners these start-up experiences. It’s not about creating a permanent business or non-profit, but about the journey and process for further application. There are dozens of digital platforms designed to help teachers incorporate this startup mindset into their curriculum and projects. A few are BizWorld, Jumpstart Project, Fix-Ed and Lemonade Stand.   

Shark Tank Your School, Class & Projects

As part of this start-up mindset, we learn how to practice and perfect the pitch. We can teach learners the power and application of that elevator speech that can elicit support, buy-in and new fans. As often as we can get learners in front of their peers, adult mentors and community partners/experts to practice pitching their ideas and concepts the better. Many school site leaders have started competitive events where learners design and pitch ways to address school wide challenges (bullying, internet safety, drugs and alcohol abuse, anxiety, school safety, etc.) ultimately leading to the best idea(s) being implemented by the school. One great example of educators using the pitch as a means to teach students skills is the STEMIE Coalition, This is a network of more than 30 invention and entrepreneurship programs across the US designed to elevate K-12 innovation and entrepreneurship education to a national level. They intend to bring this “Shark Tank” – like mindset to more than 10 million learners in the coming years. 


Tech integration in education is moving at light speed. And although it should not be about the tool (should be about the process and product enhanced by tech), there are tremendous technology tools and phenomena that can be deployed with students once embarking on entrepreneurial projects and activities. And not only do we advance learner work, but also learner technology literacy necessary to succeed in the new economy. Social Media is a great area to start. Most of our high schoolers and even younger people are on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or others. We need to model for them how business and nonprofits use these tools to market, brand, recruit, compete and grow. Crowdsourcing is another concept students can learn and apply to projects. Think of the ultimate digital collaboration in which individuals or organizations obtain goods and services, including ideas and finances, from a large, relatively open and often rapidly-evolving group of internet users. Many learners are already using crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to enlist public support of their projects and entrepreneurial ventures. Crowdfunding allows individuals to raise small amounts of money from a large number of people through online and social media networks. Any learner’s company, non-profit or project can be exposed to the power of Go Fund Me and Kickstarter. These not only can move a learner project forward publicly, but also allow them to feel the power of networking, collaboration and technology. Finally, we can leverage the technology to facilitate learners creating, showcasing and sharing their own Digital Portfolios. They can leverage dozens of free website design and portfolio platforms. This will be their resume and their practice in personal branding. 

Posted on October 6, 2021 in iLEAD Digest

Share the Story

About the Author

Michael Niehoff is an educator, leader, writer and learner advocate.
Back to Top

Effective date: August 29, 2019

Maker Learning Network (“us”, “we”, or “our”) operates the https://ileadschools.org/ website (the “Service”).

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal data when you use our Service and the choices you have associated with that data.

We use your data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, the terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, accessible from the Service.

Information Collection and Use

We collect several different types of information for various purposes to provide and improve our Service to you.

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using our Service, we may ask you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you (“Personal Data”). Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

We may use your Personal Data to contact you with newsletters, marketing or promotional materials and other information that may be of interest to you. You may opt out of receiving any, or all, of these communications from us by following the unsubscribe link or the instructions provided in any email we send.

Usage Data

We may also collect information on how the Service is accessed and used (“Usage Data”). This Usage Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

Tracking & Cookies Data

We use cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on our Service and we hold certain information.

Cookies are files with a small amount of data which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a website and stored on your device. Other tracking technologies are also used such as beacons, tags and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyse our Service.

You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Service.

Examples of Cookies we use:

Use of Data

Maker Learning Network uses the collected data for various purposes:

Legal Basis for Processing Personal Data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are from the European Economic Area (EEA), Maker Learning Network legal basis for collecting and using the personal information described in this Privacy Policy depends on the Personal Data we collect and the specific context in which we collect it.

Maker Learning Network  may process your Personal Data because:

Retention of Data

Maker Learning Network will retain your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

Maker Learning Network will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of our Service, or we are legally obligated to retain this data for longer periods.

Transfer of Data

Your information, including Personal Data, may be transferred to – and maintained on – computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ from those of your jurisdiction.

If you are located outside United States and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer the data, including Personal Data, to United States and process it there.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by your submission of such information represents your agreement to that transfer.

Maker Learning Network will take all the steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of your Personal Data will take place to an organisation or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Data

Business Transaction

If Maker Learning Network is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, your Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before your Personal Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

Disclosure for Law Enforcement

Under certain circumstances, Maker Learning Network may be required to disclose your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

Legal Requirements

Maker Learning Network may disclose your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

Security of Data

The security of your data is important to us but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Our Policy on “Do Not Track” Signals under the California Online Protection Act (CalOPPA)

We do not support Do Not Track (“DNT”). Do Not Track is a preference you can set in your web browser to inform websites that you do not want to be tracked.

You can enable or disable Do Not Track by visiting the Preferences or Settings page of your web browser.

Your Data Protection Rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), you have certain data protection rights. Maker Learning Network aims to take reasonable steps to allow you to correct, amend, delete or limit the use of your Personal Data.

If you wish to be informed about what Personal Data we hold about you and if you want it to be removed from our systems, please contact us.

In certain circumstances, you have the following data protection rights:

Please note that we may ask you to verify your identity before responding to such requests.

You have the right to complain to a Data Protection Authority about our collection and use of your Personal Data. For more information, please contact your local data protection authority in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Service Providers

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service (“Service Providers”), provide the Service on our behalf, perform Service-related services or assist us in analysing how our Service is used.

These third parties have access to your Personal Data only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.


We may use third-party Service Providers to monitor and analyse the use of our Service.

Behavioral Remarketing

Maker Learning Network uses remarketing services to advertise on third party websites to you after you visited our Service. We and our third-party vendors use cookies to inform, optimise and serve ads based on your past visits to our Service.

Links to Other Sites

Our Service may contain links to other sites that are not operated by us. If you click a third party link, you will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Children’s Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 18 (“Children”).

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Child has provided us with Personal Data, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected Personal Data from children without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.

Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let you know via email and/or a prominent notice on our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the “effective date” at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us:

Important information regarding confidential student data

There is ongoing litigation between the California Department of Education and the Concerned Parent Association. A notice issued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson states, “The lawsuit accuses CDE of widespread, systemic non-compliance by local educational agencies with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504. The CDE denies these allegations and is actively defending the litigation.”

The court has ordered CDE to release student and parent information to provide personally identifiable information (PII) – an act that can only be taken as an exception to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As a result, we are providing notice of the court order and directions to anyone wishing to object.

Please be advised that CDE will notify parents or students of whom are required to disclose information and those individuals may object directly to the court regarding this disclosure using the PDF link below:


| iLEAD Math Policy
Translate »