Helping Students Get Their UndocuHustle On: Introduction to Entrepreneurship (Lesson Plan)

Themes/Topics: Entrepreneurship & Freelancing, Higher Education

Geography: California

Audience: Ally, Educator

“My entrepreneurship was born out of two things: necessity — because I couldn’t get hired and needed to do something on my own — and passion for my art.” — Bo Daraphant, Fashion Designer

“As undocumented immigrants, many of us have inherited the entrepreneurial spirit, often times not by choice but out of necessity. The art of the #UndocuHustle is being able to recognize the value in opportunities where others do not.” — Zacil (DJ Sizzle) Pech, Artist & CEO

Introduction to the Lesson Plan

As an educator and advocate for undocumented students, it’s important to be able to inform your campus about the income-generation opportunities via entrepreneurship that are available to anyone regardless of immigration status. This lesson plan will walk you through the steps you should take to introduce entrepreneurship to your students through an interactive workshop. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert on entrepreneurship to successfully lead this presentation!

In this step-by-step guide you will find:

Note: This workshop is not intended to answer any questions on ITINs, business entities, permits, or general business formation.

Workshop Audience: Individuals with and without DACA, college students, high school students, and community members

Workshop Level: Beginner, Introductory

Workshop Time: 1 hour

Workshop Objectives:

  • Introduce entrepreneurship as an income generation option
  • Begin brainstorm on entrepreneurial skills and experience
  • Provide resources to explore income generation options

Using the Lesson Plan


We have provided everything you need to lead a successful Intro to Entrepreneurship workshop!

The writing in blue boxes are statements you can read aloud to help you introduce a segment.

Follow the guide in the order provided here. Make sure to review and customize the slide deck presentation before starting. Open the links to the video, the Spark website, and the resources beforehand to review them and make sure they’re accessible.

Additional resources to help you prepare (but not necessary to review):

  1. Income and Career Options for Undocumented Students: How Colleges Can Help
  2. 5 Tips for Educators to Help Students Get Started as Independent Contractors/Freelancers
  3. A Guide to Working for Yourself
  4. FAQ for this presentation

Recommended materials for your students:

  • Pen and paper/Word document to take notes or questions
  • Padlet to capture ideas or questions

Educator Tips:

  • In case of radio silence, share your own experience or use the “popcorn” method.
  • If you have a big group, break them up into smaller groups for more personal conversations.
  • Customize the presentation to include your campus/organization branding and resources from your school or community.

Lesson Plan


Begin Slide Deck Presentation

Opening Statement:

Hi Everyone! Thanks for joining the workshop. Today we will be learning about entrepreneurship and why it’s a viable career option regardless of age or immigration status. We will start with an icebreaker to help us get to know each other better. Then we will watch a video on entrepreneurship by Immigrants Rising, followed by a conversation and a couple of questions on work exploration. Let’s get started.

Educator Tip:

You can also start the workshop with some introductions to build community and get to know more about who is in the room.

Step 1: Start with an Icebreaker

Estimated time: 15 min


Start the workshop with an icebreaker to help your students get into the “entrepreneurship mindset.” Pick a question (or do both!) and discuss their responses.

  • Question 1: What was your first paid or unpaid work experience?
    Sample Response: “My mom used to make food and I would help her sell it on the weekends.”
  • Question 2: What has been your favorite work experience (paid or unpaid) and why?

After sharing answers, you can also ask students “What stood out to you?” or “What did you notice from our answers?”

Educator Tip:

  • Share your own story or a family member’s story of entrepreneurship to get students talking. Have students share their responses with the group and discuss.

Transition Statement:

Many of us have work experiences that we may not consider formal but that could help us find work opportunities. As we go through the workshop, think about the things you have learned from these informal experiences and how they contribute to you being an entrepreneur.

Step 2: Share Examples of the UndocuHustle!

Estimated time: 15 min

Transition Statement:

To get us started I’m going to show you a video introduction to Undocuhustle, where you could learn more about how income generation through entrepreneurship is an option for undocumented folks.


Play the UndocuHustle video. Ask your students for their initial reactions and discuss their responses.

Ask students: “What is the wildest (but legal!) business idea you ever had?” Discuss their answers.

Sample Response: “My dream is to open a space tourism company!”

Transition Statement:

Your wildest business idea can come true even if you’re undocumented! Learn how immigrant entrepreneurs made their ideas come to life by checking out Stories of the #UndocuHustle Video Library or entrepreneur profiles on Spark.


Go through the Stories of the #UndocuHustle Video Library OR Spark Entrepreneur Profiles in the presentation. Highlight one or two stories for your students. Discuss any thoughts or reactions to these stories.

Step 3: Introduce Entrepreneurship

Estimated time: 20 min

Transition Statement:

The next video I will show you is going to give you a better understanding of why entrepreneurship is a viable income generation option for anyone, regardless of immigration status. Feel free to take notes or write down questions that we can discuss after the video.


Show the Introducing Entrepreneurship video and ask your students to share their thoughts or questions on it.

Ask students: “What stood out? Did anything surprise you?” to get some discussion started.

Educator Tip:

Only answer what you know. Feel free to say that you are not able to answer a question right now, but you will get back to your students. Either consult the resources provided at the beginning of this guide or reach out to our Entrepreneurship Team ( for answers.

Transition Statement:

As you saw in the video, entrepreneurship IS for everyone regardless of immigration status. In the next part of the workshop we will explore your own business ideas. As we do this, I want you to keep in mind what you are good at, or what are referred to as transferable skills. These are the skills you have that can be used in different jobs even if they are in completely different fields.

Think about your own skills and the work experiences you’ve had. To help you get started, think back to the first question I asked: what was your first paid or unpaid work experience? And what did you learn from it? For example, if you’ve sold candy at school or helped your parents with their business, you might have learned how to handle cash, how to conduct sales, and how to provide good customer service. With that, let’s dive into some questions.

Step 4: Develop an Entrepreneurship Mindset

Estimated time: 10 min


Lead your students through the following questions on transferable skills. If needed, adjust these questions to fit your students.

Start with a question on their experiences. You could link this to the icebreaker.

  1. What type of work experience do you have (paid or unpaid)?
    Sample Response: Helping my parents sell food taught me:
    – How to handle cash
    – Sales
    – Customer service
  2. What skills have you acquired from the classes you’ve taken?
    Sample Response: In class I’ve learned:
    – Voter outreach strategies
    – How to gather and understand data
    – Working with Excel sheets
  3. What do you enjoy doing for fun? What are you passionate about? (Can you turn this into a side hustle?)
    Sample Response:
    – Creating my own jewelry
    – Transforming old furniture

Share the Independent Contractor Brainstorming Worksheet after discussing the answers to the questions above.

Educator Tip:

  • Check out this video to see how this portion can be facilitated.
  • You can also have students write down their answers on paper or in a Padlet before discussing them.

Transition Statement:

The worksheet I am sharing is to help you keep exploring the skills you already have, the entrepreneurship opportunities that can come from them, and how you can start selling your products or provide professional services. In this workshop we have already completed the first part and I encourage you to complete the rest on your own. The worksheet is not intended to be completed in one day so take your time filling it out. This worksheet can also help you as you are creating or updating your resume. If you have any questions, reach out to someone on your campus who knows about these options, like an ally or a trusted counselor.

Educator Tip:

This worksheet is one of many, there’s more information on the Spark Entrepreneurship Hub. If students feel ready, have them create an account. Some of the questions on the hub will be ones you have already covered.

Transition Statement:

Thank you for being with us today. I hope today’s workshop helped you learn more about entrepreneurship and inspired you to start your own hustle! If you have any questions or want to learn more, visit Spark, Immigrants Rising’s entrepreneurship hub, where you can find tons of resources to help you get started. Best of luck!

This guide was developed by Gladys Castro and Madeleine Villanueva at Immigrants Rising.

Immigrants Rising helps you make decisions based on your potential, not your perceived limits. Visit our website so you can see what’s possible: For inquiries regarding this resource, please contact Madeleine Villanueva, Higher Education Manager, at Revised 2/2024.

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