Easily Integrate These Wall Street Journal Articles in Your Class
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Did you know that you can use these Weekly Review articles to easily assess your students' comprehension of course concepts and current events?

With our new WSJ Assessment Tool, they'll complete the online quizzes based on the articles and you'll have immediate access to their results.

You can learn more at WSJ.com/assessment.
THIS WEEK'S ARTICLES
Sparking Entrepreneurial Spirit in Teens
How to Start a Business With Very Little Money
First Comes the Hobby. Then Comes the Startup. And, Eventually Profits
Children Bickering? Start a Business
Founder, Pay Thyself. Or Perhaps Not.

Sparking Entrepreneurial Spirit in Teens
by: Ruth Simon
Jan 22, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Entrepreneurship Education

SUMMARY: This article focuses on ways to teach students to be more entrepreneurial. The latest initiatives play down traditional techniques, like preparing a business plan, in favor of learning how to solicit feedback from customers and knowing when to adapt products or business models. The proportion of young adults owning a business has fallen to the lowest level in at least 24 years. Some believe high schools and other institutions can better prepare students for the challenges of starting and running their own businesses. The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is one organization that's trying to help. It provides entrepreneurship education to about 40,000 low-income students. It is also testing a six-hour online program that simulates launching a good truck. Junior Achievement is also involved. Last summer, it put its entrepreneurial program online, making it easier for students to raise money on the Web and manage e-commerce transactions. A common theme among new programs is to get kids out into the real world. Many program emphasize conceiving business ideas and then talking to actual customers about the ideas.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This article provides insight into new ways of teaching entrepreneurship. Ask you students if the new techniques resonate with them, and if they think they'll be successful. Talk about NFTE about what they're doing. Reflect with your students on whether the techniques used to teach entrepreneurship mentioned in the article is what they're experience in their entrepreneurship program. Speculate on what works and what doesn't work in regard to teaching entrepreneurship in a college or university setting.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Do the new techniques for teaching entrepreneurship, as described in the article, strike you as the right way or the wrong way to teach entrepreneurship to college students?

2. (Advanced) Why do you think the proportion of young adults owning a business has fallen to the lowest level in the past 24 years? Speculate on reasons beyond those provided in the article.

3. (Advanced) Are you considering an entrepreneurial career? Why or why not?

Reviewed By: Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State University


How to Start a Business With Very Little Money
by: John Mullins
Jan 26, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Financing a Business

SUMMARY: This article focuses on how to start a business with very little money. It isn't a new idea. In fact, variations on raises money in creative ways rather than through banks or equity investors helped launch Microsoft, Banana Republic and eBay. The article provides advice on five specific techniques for raising money in creative ways. The suggestions don't work in every case. Brick-and-mortar stores, for example, are generally too capital intensive to raise money without bankers or investors involved. But for businesses that fit the model, utilizing creative techniques can be a perfect way to get under way without being burden with debt or giving up equity in the firm. The five techniques are: Get the Money Up Front, Collect Cash Like Clockwork, Put Yourself in the Middle of the Deal, Give Them a Deadline for Buying, and Transform What You Offer. In regard to Get the Money Up Front, pay-in advance models have been around practically forever. Airlines use this model. Do you want to fly to New York next month? You pay for your ticket in advance. In regard to Put Yourself in the Middle of the Deal, another common approach for customer funding is to act as a matchmaker. Companies like Expedia and eBay don't own or every touch what is bought and sold via their sites, they simply take a share of the transactions.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This is a fascinating and helpful article. It provides concrete advice regarding how entrepreneurs can raise money for their firms absent debt financing or equity funding. Go through the five techniques suggested in the article with your students. Brainstorm businesses that can be started utilizing each technique.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) To what degree did the article expand your thinking on how a businesses can be financed in creative ways rather than relying on debt financing or equity funding?

2. (Advanced) Brainstorm at least two business ideas that can be funded via each of the five techniques identified in the article.

3. (Advanced) Why do you think the conventional wisdom is that a startup needs bank financing or equity funding to launch rather than utilizing more creative techniques?

Reviewed By: Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State University


First Comes the Hobby. Then Comes the Startup. And, Eventually Profits
by: Caitlin Huston
Jan 26, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Compensation

SUMMARY: This article portrays an example of the old story of the tortoise versus the hare. Businesses that start out as hobbies take longer to take shape than businesses that are launched as full-time businesses to start with. But a recent study has found that leisure-based founders are more likely than others to generate revenue, achieve a profit and have a deep commitment to their business. The bulk of the article is devoted to a WSJ interview with the co-authors of the study, Philip Kim of Babson College and Stephen Lippmann of Miami University. When asked the direct question "Why do the leisure-based founders do better in the long run," Mr. Lippmann said that it may be because leisure-based founders develop better test markets and are more committed to their activity or product. They're usually doing something they love rather than trying to exploit a market opportunity for profit. When asked why leisure-based founders are more likely to overcome failure, Mr. Kim said that what the data shows is that they make progress at a steady pace. They're doing something that they enjoy, so it's less likely they'll give us.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Ask your students if the results of the study are surprising to them. Discuss the reasons that businesses that start as a hobby may have more staying power than businesses launched to exploit a market opportunity. Ask your students if they have a hobby that may translate into a business. Discuss how doing something one enjoys or loves can provide more motivation to succeed than strictly doing something to make money.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Why do you think leisure businesses tend to have more staying power than traditional businesses that are launched to exploit a market opportunity?

2. (Advanced) How would you answer the question, "Why are leisure-based businesses more likely to overcome failure?"

3. (Advanced) Think of a hobby or leisure-based activity that you enjoy. Now brainstorm a business idea that could stem from that hobby or leisure-based business.

Reviewed By: Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State University


Children Bickering? Start a Business
by: Lisa Ward
Jan 26, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Opportunity recognition

SUMMARY: This article comes from the "How I Thought Of It" series in the Wall Street Journal. It focuses on how Laurie Canata came up with the idea for her startup, Fruit-Full Kids. It all started at a neighborhood swimming pool. Ms. Canata's four kids were bickering constantly. Out of desperation, she promised them a reward if they could stop fighting and be kind to one another. It worked. That night, she served her best behaving child dinner on a special plate. The special plate idea caught on. Her children seemed motivated to behave to receive the distinction of having dinner on a special plate. Ms. Canata shared her idea with friends, who loved it. After two years, she began thinking about creating a special set of plates for awarding children, each highlighting a virtue. She's had good luck so far. A friend of her mother-in-law gave the plates to Kathie Lee Gifford, who featured them on "The Today Show." Since 2014, Ms. Canata has sold about 4,000 plates, at a cost of $23 for a set of three, and hopes to book a profit in the first half of this year.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This is a fascinating article. It highlights how a simple experience lead to the inspiration for a business idea. Ask your students to think of an experience they've had in the past week that might lead to a business idea. Talk about opportunity recognition in general and how solving simple problems (in everyday life) often leads to promising business ideas.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What does this article teach aspiring entrepreneurs about how to come up with a business idea?

2. (Advanced) Why do you think Kathie Lee Gifford was struck enough by Laurie Canta's business idea to feature it on "The Today Show?"

3. (Advanced) Spend some time looking at Fruit-Full Kid's Web site. What is your impression of the product? If Laurie Canata decided to grow Fruit-Full Kids by adding additional products, what would a good second product be for the company?

Reviewed By: Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State University


Founder, Pay Thyself. Or Perhaps Not.
by: Wall Street Journal Staff Reporter
Jan 26, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Compensation

SUMMARY: This article addresses the thorny question of how much startup founders should pay themselves. The question is thorny because while everyone needs an income, there is a sentiment in startup circles that the money a firm raises should be thrown into the business (rather than used for salaries) with the promise of a big payoff down the road for the founders. To gain insight on the issue, the article refers to comments posted on The Accelerators, a WSJ entrepreneurship blog. Christina Bechhold, co-founder of Empire Angels, is wary of founders' whose top priority is their own salary. She said that investors are not writing checks to ensure founders can eat out three times a week. Maynard Webb, founder of the Webb Investment Network, advocates paying founders (only) what they need to live and granting generous equity. With this approach when the company wins, the founder also wins. Brian Holmes, founder of Hootsuite Media Inc., said that when it comes to how much you should be paying yourself as an entrepreneur, there is no straightforward answer. He urges founders to take care of themselves, in a measured way, so their businesses can thrive. Finally, Jay Samit, a serial entrepreneur, said that if your startup is far enough evolved to be raising capital, then it must also be able to pay the founder's a salary. Founders who take a salary are able to focus 100% on their business.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This is a fascinating article. It focuses on an issue that any business founder would be interested in-how much salary to take from investors' dollars. Prior to talking about the article, ask your students their take on this issue. Then talk about the individual pieces of advice provided in the article. Ask your students to identify the pieces of advice that resonated the most with them.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What is your take on the issue discussed in the article? Should the founders of a business pay themselves a salary from the money they raise from investors to fund their business?

2. (Advanced) Which piece of advice contained in the article resonated the most with you?

3. (Advanced) Having read the article and thought about the issue of whether the founders of a business should pay themselves a salary, if you starting a company and raised investment capital, how would you handle this issue?

Reviewed By: Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State University


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