An edupreneur is an entrepreneur who works within in the education sector.
Edupreneurs are usually mission-driven and live for bringing to light positive impact. They can be found building new education organizations and businesses, developing the latest edtech tools, running new schools, and giving keynote speeches around the world. They lead with a 21st-century education mindset and are known globally inside and outside of the classroom.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Franchise Help reports there are over 100k establishments in the private Education Service industry; almost 200k including local, state and federal government institutions. The industry employs over 3.5 million people.
If you are interested in the education and entrepreneurship field, want to launch an edtech startup, or would like a better understanding of the niche, you need to know and learn from the movers and shakers in this field.
The following five voices are on the cutting-edge of education.
Please note, this is not a comprehensive list. In the forthcoming weeks, I will highlight more edupreneur voices in a short series.
Top Five Edupreneur Voices
1. Angela Maiers
Angela Maiers has been creating and leading change in education and enterprise for 31 years, teaching every level of school from grade school to graduate school, and consulting with organizations and companies around the world. As a young teacher, she had an epiphany that people need to know they matter. They need to be noticed, valued, and honored. She states, “Significance is even more important than success.”
In 2012, she founded Choose2Matter, a movement that challenges all – to not only to believe and know they matter, but also to make “mattering” a way of life. She now spends her time helping students, teachers, parents, and leaders embrace and embody this message in their own lives and in the lives of those they lead and serve.
Today, Choose2Matter reaches over 1 million students in 65,000 classrooms in more than 50 countries. Countries that feature her work include Canada, Australia, UK, Africa, and the United States. She’s also authored several books and instructional guides, including her latest set of lessons: “Genius Matters.” Her organization has attracted sponsors and goodwill partners, including SMART Technologies, IBM, The Girls Scouts of America, and the USO, who help make it possible to sustain not only the message of mattering but facilitate the epic shifts in culture and community that the work requires.
Why you should follow Maiers
Maiers does the work that many thought-leaders discuss. Choose2Matter inspires individuals to act, to do, and to be brave. Maiers is the ambassador to their stories, recording and sharing what she sees. Her ability to invite, connect and empower others and to unleash their contributions is the reason she gets up every morning.
Choose2Matter was born out of a single profound belief that you are a genius and the world needs (not wants or desires) your contribution. Maiers states, “This is not an ideology; this is biology. Mattering is an essential need.”
Although the message was originally intended for teachers and students, her movement has grown. Her message is discussed among military leaders, business executives, and even, in recent months, members of Parliament.
What makes this accomplishment even more profound than the sheer numbers of students involved is that they are doing the work within the confines of the school day in what she calls: Genius Hour. Google’s 20% time inspired Genius Hour, where young people are given one hour a week to come together to leverage their collective genius to change our world.
Maiers states, “Entrepreneurship is driven by the innate need to create, build, grow and impact. When we connect the two, education and entrepreneurship, it’s all about taking control of your journey to spend your life using your strengths and genius to make an impact.”
She continues, “Mattering and entrepreneurship both represent freedom, courage, possibilities and allow a person to tap into their gifts. To nurture and lead entrepreneurs, we have to approach it as an inside out task. We present Choose2Matter as a path to purpose and teach young entrepreneurs to conquer their world – before they conquer the world.”
Maiers’ advice for potential edupreneurs: Share your story
Share your entrepreneurial story; let people see how you came up with an idea, and how you shifted to another, and failed, and iterated until you finally found what you were meant to do all along. It’s the process, not the product that matters most to the learner. Be brave. You were born to make an impact. Do it.
Read more: Forbes