How schools in Kenya can build the next generation of Kenyan entrepreneurs is a crucial consideration for educators today. As a school head or a teacher, you are tasked with churning out students who are capable of navigating the 21st century market. One of the ways you can effectively achieve this is by imparting your students with an entrepreneurial mindset and entrepreneurial skills.
As a way to contribute to Africa’s agricultural development and empower the Kenyan youth with entrepreneurial skills, the Agri Enterprise Incubation for Improved Livelihoods and Economic Development (AGLEAD) project was established. The program took off at Egerton University, dictating that students who enroll in the program start and run a successful enterprise on their own before graduating. According to Dr. Anthony Egeru, the manager of this programme, AGLEAD has provided 106 job opportunities for students, young entrepreneurs and local farmers. Evidently, schools at all levels must rethink their training approaches in order to churn out students who can identify a problem, come up with a practical solution and significantly contribute to the development of the Kenyan and African economy as well as catering to the needs of different audiences within the society. While universities and mid-level tertiary institutions are encouraging entrepreneurial education in their curriculums, the same cannot be said about lower-level schools.
The question, therefore, becomes how can schools equip students with entrepreneurial skills?
How entrepreneurial education can be adopted in Kenyan schools
At the age of 13, a Tanzanian entrepreneur by the name Edwin Shayo sold cassettes on the streets as a means of supplementing his family's income. In his teenage years, he chose computers over college and wound up launching Smart Codes Limited, a tech company that focuses on B2B digital marketing.
At the age of 9, Fatoumata, a Senegalese VC investor and entrepreneur, hacked her father’s computer. By the time she was 16, she had created her own website and afterward she founded and launched Jumia Ivory Coast, an e-commerce platform.
These two African entrepreneurs began their entrepreneurial journey while they were children. Can you imagine how many more young people have the potential to be great entrepreneurs but lack the helping hand? Someone to guide them through the process of entrepreneurship i.e., from ideation to market research to product launch. Someone to shape their entrepreneurial mindset. Well, as an educator, you have a unique opportunity to do all this by initiating an entrepreneurial program in your schools!
Let’s examine what such a program would ideally entail.
1) Nurturing a student’s entrepreneurial mindset
Have you ever wondered why it is so easy for a young person to learn a new language or skill ? This is because of their brain’s fast neural formation and elasticity. You can literally mold a young person's mind. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset in your students early enough will enable them to become problem solvers, job creators and economy developers by the time they are leaving school.
An entrepreneurial mindset can be developed through;
- Exposing students to entrepreneurial books, articles and videos. Afterwards they can write reports and share their understanding of different entrepreneurial journeys.
- Inviting entrepreneurs to speak to students on their journeys in the entrepreneurship realms.
- Equipping teachers with entrepreneurial knowhow such that they can pass on this knowledge to their students.
- Capitalizing on clubs that are entrepreneurship oriented and encouraging students to join these clubs.
- Challenging students to spot an opportunity or problem within the school surrounding and to come up with a business idea around the problem or opportunity. The best idea could potentially be developed by the school.
If you create an entrepreneurial environment in your school, students will slowly embrace this culture and within no time, they will develop problem-solving and decision-making skills. They will also learn to be tenacious, risk-takers and patient. These skills and characteristics will help them thrive as entrepreneurs in the 21st century market.
2) Initiating practical learning
Idea formation is a crucial part of the entrepreneurship process. The thing is, if a person cannot practically apply this idea i.e., develop a product and take it to market, then the idea fizzles and vanishes in thin air only to be birthed by another entrepreneur.
An entrepreneurial program should not be solely theoretical, it should encourage students to practically apply their ideas. This will involve elements such as writing a business plan, pitching their business plan to you, their parents and even board of directors, conducting market research, coming up with a product launch plan and a marketing campaign.
Practical learning of how to become a successful entrepreneur is what will make your students stand out once they get into their careers or if they decide to start their own businesses. They will have learned from past mistakes and honed vital entrepreneurial skills over time. As a result, your institution will also be tagged as a unicorn-it will be responsible for producing change makers and leaders in our society.
3) Encouraging students to work in teams
Every entrepreneur or career professional needs a team so that they can realize their goal. By putting students in groups for their entrepreneurial projects, you will be preparing your students for the real world. They will know how to work alongside people such that they can vocalize their ideas, listen to other people’s ideas, assign tasks and take responsibility over tasks.
As your students identify opportunities and practically apply their solutions, introduce them to the concept of collaboration. Let them understand early enough how important it is to work in a team as an entrepreneur or even at the workplace.
To recap, you can equip your students with an entrepreneurial program by;
- Exposing them to entrepreneurship-related resources aimed at developing an entrepreneurial mindset within them.
- Establishing channels that allow students to practically apply their entrepreneurial ideas.
- Encouraging students to work in teams when formulating and applying these ideas.
Now that you know how you can equip students with entrepreneurial skills, where do you begin? Worry not! Kinetic has got you covered.
Introducing Kinetic as a platform for entrepreneurial education
Kinetic is an entrepreneurship learning platform that is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs. This platform has curated modules that help students;
- Develop entrepreneurial mindsets.
- Gain execution skills.
- Develop collaborative skills.
- Develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Kinetic achieves this by availing learning resources such as case studies, entrepreneurship talks featuring successful entrepreneurs and practical learning sessions where students get to show their understanding of what they are learning.
Kinetic’s aim is to help you churn out students who are well equipped with entrepreneurial skills such that they can thrive in the 21st century. This platform will act as the students guide in this realm. As a school head and educator, you will have a chance of standing out as a school that produces problem solvers , leaders and individuals willing to innovate and improve the lives of those around them and contribute to the economy.
Eager to churn out successful entrepreneurs? Contact us today!
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