Makerspaces A to Z: Enterprising

I recently launched a new blog series, Makerspaces A to Z.  You can read all about the letter A, B, C and D. Thank you to all those who shared their thoughts about those posts using the #MakerspacesAtoZ hashtag.  Thank you also to those who shared their thoughts about letter E words there, as well.  Letter E words shared included: Experience, Eclectic, Ethereal, Efficacy, Emerge, Energy and more! Those who know me well, might have thought my selection for Letter E would have been Elon Musk, and while I was tempted…

Letter E represents Enterprising.

I do not read many magazines anymore, but one that I read consistently is Harvard Business Review. Although entrepreneurs are oftentimes written about in their publication, I have been more interested in the pieces that focus on being an enterprising person.  What does it mean to be enterprising?  There are a number of definitions, including: “Having or showing initiative and resourcefulness”, “Ready to undertake projects of importance or difficulty, or untried schemes”, “Energetic in carrying out any undertaking”, “Having the ability to think of new activities or ideas and make them work”.

Enterprising is oftentimes associated with starting a business, or an enterprise, but really, it has nothing to do with making money.  It encompasses a set of attributes or characteristics of someone, such as: adaptable, confident, strategic thinker, innovative, courageous, imaginative, creative, driven, resourceful, original, ambitious, determined, persistent, and passionate.  Those people might or might not go on to be entrepreneurs and start their own businesses.  What is interesting to me about being enterprising is that it takes entrepreneurship to another level.

Entrepreneurs are enterprising, but you can be enterprising without being an entrepreneur.

So while, yes, fostering that entrepreneurial spirit certainly has become an invaluable feature of many makerspaces, arguably more meaningful, is fostering enterprising characteristics in our learners.  Not all students will be entrepreneurs, but all students are capable of enterprising behaviors. Enterprise skills will benefit students no matter what path they take in life (or even what planet it is on).