WeWork is giving kindergarteners business classes
Co-working space provider WeWork is looking towards a new generation of entrepreneurs—many of whom probably don’t know what that word means.
The $20 billion startup said Monday that it’s launching a private elementary school inside one its trendy New York office spaces with a pilot class of seven, including a child of founders Adam and Rebekah Neumann, Bloomberg reported.
“In my book, there’s no reason why children in elementary schools can’t be launching their own businesses,” Rebekah Neumann told the news site in an interview.
The venture, which centers on a “conscious entrepreneurship” curriculum, comes as the startup has been thinking beyond the workplace to apply its communal ethos to other aspects of life. It opened a shared apartment space last year, along with a gym and wellness center and a coding bootcamp.
Wondering how long before WeWork gets into indoor farming and just launches self-sustaining skyscraper colonies
— Brian Warmoth (@warmoth) November 6, 2017
As the startup scrambles to forge into new areas of business to justify its eye-popping valuation, critics have begun to question whether the company is anything more than a glorified real estate provider.
The new educational program is among WeWork’s latest attempts to prove those naysayers wrong.
The trial class spends one day of every week at a 60-acre farm owned by the Neumanns and the rest of the time at the office-classroom learning from WeWork employees and business-minded clients, according to Bloomberg.
we’re 6 months out from WeWork for entrepreneurial zygotes
— tc (@chillmage) November 6, 2017
The students, who are all between five and eight years old, have already taken classes on sales techniques, brand-building, and supply and demand, the news site reported. The hope is that the kids will also eventually be teamed with various entrepreneurs for mentorship programs.
While WeWork’s curriculum might sounds more like a tech conference itinerary than an elementary school agenda, the founders maintain that they also hold the students to state academic standards in subjects like math and reading.
WeWork’s ambitions don’t end in the kindergarten classroom, though. CEO Adam Neumann has said that his end goal is to create entire self-contained communities where customers, the so-called “WeGeneration” could live a “purpose-driven” life centered on meaningful work.