• Monday, June 17, 2024
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BusinessDay

Incubating African Kids Entrepreneurs for Next-Gen Impact

20240522_104717_0000

… showcasing BMI’s Catch Them Young Initiative

There is a growing trend of unemployment, poverty, youth in crime, fraud, and many short-term approaches to address matters of the future.

Research shows that the different methodologies deployed to address the evil trajectory are all short-term and fizzle away as a new government comes on board every four years.

The basic school is said to have specific characteristics and challenges that require a well-structured methodology to harness their potential.

Nnamdi Unachukwu, the chairman of BMI-CTY, Business Matters incubators-catch them young, recently disclosed that BMI has been able to crack the codes, hence it’s a recent gathering it organised to showcase the tools and roadmap to address the gap.

Speaking at the unveiling of BMI-CTY at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Unachukwu said early learning is proven to be a motivation for acquiring behaviour, and habits, adding that if the right tools are used, it will modify behaviour, cognitive and integrating changes in value/attitude.

These changes he said occur mostly in childhood/adolescence to foster self-esteem, self-efficacy and self-confidence.

“Have you ever wondered how children learn various languages with ease or change their accent in any given environment they live in? This methodology is embedded in what we call a six-sense approach to entrepreneurship education for kids 7-14 years). This comprises Textbooks, a Workbook, a Discussion book (The Bridging Gap) video video-recorded lessons, a Cartoon series, a BMI-Fantasy game (Gamification), a Practical manual, and a Train-the-trainer manual. This Medium to long-term plan we have for the children of Nigeria.”

He said it took years of research, consultations and hard work to develop this initiative that will teach pupils from age 7-14 the requisite skills, mentality, and mindset to become great entrepreneurs.

This initiative, Unachukwu said, uses an inclusive methodology for entrepreneurship education in Africa. The initiative is called BMI-CTY (Business Matters Incubators- Catch Them Young).

“We have written to federal and state ministries of education, Universal Basic Education board and we hope to collaborate with them. Lagos state being the centre of excellence is taking the lead.

“We intend to extend these tools to hinterlands, public schools and IDP camps to equip the young for a secured future. The much we have deployed to schools and the attendant transformation is very encouraging and we just started.

“We cannot do it alone and that’s why we seek your support but you need more information and that’s what the rest of the event of today will showcase. We want you to sit back, relax and see the opportunities in the tools we have developed. We shall listen to notable scholars who will be talking to us today,” he added.

Also speaking at the event, Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, an associate professor of entrepreneurship, at Lagos Business School and certified management consultant and the keynote speaker at the event said the is event is very important because today’s society requires more job creators than job seekers but unfortunately academia emphasises too much job seeking.

Onwuegbuzie said one of the things she has always said is that academia needs to be decolonised because the system Nigeria has today was the system put together by the colonisers who are looking for people to work in the ministries that they use to extract resources for their home countries, adding that this hasn’t changed that much.

She said the country needs a system that works for Nigeria and for Africa, which means that the country needs to train children right from childhood to see problems as opportunities to create solutions that they can commercialise.

“They need to learn that they can make money from making a difference. They need to see starting a business as natural because entrepreneurship is a mindset of problem-solving and improvements.

“So, when you say Nigeria has many problems, it means Nigeria has many opportunities for profitable businesses. This is fundamental. I do this at the Business School with adults but I think it is better to start from childhood so that they see every educational institution they attend as an opportunity to hone that mindset of problem-solving.

“Entrepreneurship is not for a privileged few. Colonisation brought this idea of going to school to get a job. Before then, we used the knowledge we learnt from a trade or skill to serve society and that is still valid till today.

So, when everybody is thinking of getting a job, what tends to happen is that we have unemployment. If everyone is getting a job, then who is creating the job?

“Before colonisation, there was nothing like unemployment. You grow up learning how to become a carpenter, a fisherman or a trader amongst others.

Everyone grew up learning a skill with which they earned a living. Today, we grow up looking for who will employ us. Today, we see people who did not go to school making millions, while those who went to school are frustrated looking for a job. We need to reprogramme our minds,” she said.