NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center Teaches 5th Graders About Entrepreneurism

The North Iowa Area Community College John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center conducted Entrepreneur for a Day programs (E4D®) at Clear Creek Elementary in Clear Lake, Iowa, on May 1 & 2 and at NIACC on May 4 & 5 for the Clear Lake 5th grade students. Over 90 students participated in a two-session program that was sponsored by Pritchard Companies.

The Entrepreneur for a Day (E4D®) program is dedicated to teaching 5th grade students the fundamental principles of entrepreneurship and how to start a business.  Students learn the distinct differences between becoming an entrepreneur and being an employee.  One of the goals of the program is to get kids thinking about being a job creator versus a job taker. The program encourages them to view entrepreneurship as a viable career pathway and understand that passions can become vocations.

During this two-session program, participants experience business planning, financial literacy, marketing concepts, workplace concepts, social responsibility and team-building skills. This marks the first step in getting entrepreneurship education into the schools.  During the first day, trained facilitators visit the students’ classroom and get them excited about the program by introducing terms and concepts of entrepreneurship.  The second day, students are invited to visit the NIACC campus where they choose a product, borrow money from a bank, buy resources they will need, make the product, then sell the product and determine if they made a profit.  The visit concludes with a tour of NIACC which offers students a sense of campus life, diversity and validates college.  Many of these students may be the first generation in their families to attend college, and the campus presence enables the students to make a post-secondary connection.  Eleven school districts and over 1,200 5th grade students in North Iowa participated in E4D this school year.

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center is located on the North Iowa Area Community College campus in Mason City and provides college level courses and degree programs in entrepreneurship, as well as comprehensive consulting services for business start-ups, existing industries and owner transitions in the North Iowa region.

For more information regarding the Entrepreneur for a Day program, please contact Kelley O’Rourke at the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at 641-422-4234 or


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