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You are here: What is R U Ready 4 BIZness? » Why Do We Exist
Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018

Why Do We Exist?


Importance of Entrepreneurship

Our country utilizes hundreds of youth entrepreneurship programs, yet none cater to the special needs population or offer the adaptability components necessary for their learning styles. The existing entrepreneurship programs were not designed with the creativity, innovation or awareness needed to work with special needs youth. There are no inclusionary entrepreneurship programs that teach disabled and non-disabled students together how to start and run a business.

... R U Ready 4 BIZness... will serve as a vital component to reducing high school dropout rates...

There are over 18,435 high schools in America, servicing an estimated 14,370,902 high school students. 1,995,961 of them are served under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), aged 14-18 (National High School Center; 2006). IDEA was passed by legislation in 1975 to give disabled students the right to learn in a regular classroom in public schools. Federal funds were allocated to cover the cost of specialized services to meet the needs of students with disabilities. (Educating Children with Disabilities, 2007) Yet until now, the integration of disabled and non-disabled peers in high schools has not been addressed in the realm of business.

There are almost 6.5 million students with disabilities in America. The high school dropout rate for disabled students has reached a national high of 38%, double the rate of non-disabled students. The graduation rate for students with disabilities is 51%. Sadly, 66% of students with learning disabilities are not eligible to attend a four-year university, in comparison to 37% of non-disabled graduates. Only 13% of students learning with disabilities (SLD) attended a four-year college two years after high school graduation, in contrast to 53% of their non-disabled counterparts (LDA of America 2008). Implementing the R U Ready 4 BIZness inclusionary entrepreneurship curriculum into schools across the United States will serve as a vital component to reducing high school dropout rates and increasing innovation in today’s youths.

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richard_thomas RICHARD THOMAS
Kettering West Wing High School

I learned how to work together with my non-disabled peers. I learned how to pull images from Google and make a PowerPoint presentation. I also learned how to create and sell products. I was very scared to sell the mugs that our team, The Dreamers, designed, but once my teachers motivated me to step out and do it, I ended up selling over 85 mugs by myself in two weeks. I would like to thank everyone who bought a mug and for believeing in me and my product.
Kettering West Wing High School

My experience in the entrepreneurship project taught me how to work with my non-disabled peers and to not be afraid to express myself in front of others. It has built my confidence, patience and self-esteem. I also learned how to use PowerPoint and to present in front of a group. I learned how to go into the community to sell my products to various people and organizations without being fearful of rejection.

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EP Intro Part 1

The Entrepreneurship Project (EP) is the first inclusionary entrepreneurship program in the country designed for disabled and non-disabled students.

EP Intro Part 2

Never before have special and general education students established a joint venture, nor has there been a curriculum developed to meet the learning styles of both groups.

EP Intro Part 3

The program uses differentiated instruction to teach students who have learning disabilities and cognitive impairments in collaboration with their general education peers.