Young Entrepreneurs- shaping an entrepreneurial mindset

Young Entrepreneurs- shaping an entrepreneurial mindset

Inspiring children to become the architects of their own future

Young Entrepreneurs is an extra-curricular programme that equips children with entrepreneurial skills. The company is located on 87 Main Road in Walmer.

Kids Connection had the great opportunity to talk to the owner of Young Entrepreneurs, Ansulene Prinsloo, and find out why it is so important for children to have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Here is what Ansulene had to say at our Q and A

Q. What is Young Entrepreneurs about?

 Young Entrepreneurs teaches children that they can own their futures, not just have their own business – by focussing on, and developing, the entrepreneurial mindset.  Entrepreneurial thinking is different to business skills.  “Entrepreneurship” needs to be a MINDSET, cultivated and nurtured from an early age. Regardless of whether you want to start your own business or take ownership of your own career – in today’s world, and even more in the future, an entrepreneurial mindset is and will be a necessity. And that is what we do, we teach children to have an entrepreneurial mindset.

 Q. You mention the term “Entrepreneurial Mindset” – what exactly is this, and how is it developed?

The “entrepreneurial mindset” is defined as the set of attitudes, skills and behaviours that our children need to succeed academically, personally and professionally in the 21st Century. These include:  resilience, communication, diligence, (self) confidence, initiative and self-direction, risk-taking, flexibility and adaptability, creativity and innovation, teamwork and leadership, critical thinking and problem solving. Other definitions include the ability to recognise opportunities, find resources and create value. The entrepreneurial mindset is ONLY developed through repetitive experiential learning; by being actively involved over a number of years. Our programmes are designed in such a nature that we develops all above.

Q. Why should all children learn about entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship isn’t a “job” as many people think; it’s a way of thinking about and approaching challenges and opportunities. That’s why real entrepreneurs flourish in government, non-profit organizations and business — as both employees, managers and founders.  It is well established that the entrepreneurial mindset makes for outstanding employees because they can identify problems early, and formulate solutions to these. Entrepreneurially minded employees take ownership of their jobs and performance and tend to both think creatively and collaborate well with others.

Whatever field they choose, entrepreneurs should be the ones running existing organisations, starting new ones and thinking BIG thoughts. Our country needs more of them, taking calculated risks and solving problems. Entrepreneurially minded individuals are best placed to embrace and lead the world we live in, as well as the world of the future.

Q. Many primary schools have entrepreneurship week/days? Why is there a need for the Young Entrepreneurs programme?

Entrepreneurship is NOT learned by reading a textbook and then taking a test to prove you have mastered the content. It is also NOT learned in a once-off workshop, or a holiday camp.  NOR is it learned during a stand-alone event such as a market day or a week of studying entrepreneurship; in most cases it is the parents that are involved with this and not so much the children.

As mentioned earlier, at Young Entrepreneurs we teach children how to think entrepreneurially, we teach business skills, we teach 21st century skills that will prepare children for the world of the future. We don’t just focus on market days…that’s just an event.  It is what happens before the event in terms of a well-structured programme that counts.

Q. What led you to open Young Entrepreneurs in Port Elizabeth?

 The world is changing so fast, and we need to change with it; if not, our children will be left behind.  People think, to be successful, you have to go to university. But even a degree today is no guarantee of a job, regardless of how well-qualified you are … Our children need to be taught how to think differently and how to start their own businesses. Knowing the traditional school system does not adequately prepare children to set up their own businesses, I set about looking for a solution in 2016, and found one in the form of an entrepreneurial and financial literacy programme for youngsters, starting right from Grade 1 – i.e. the Young Entrepreneurs programme.

Q. What ages does Young Entrepreneurs cater for?

Young Entrepreneurs programmes are designed specifically to develop entrepreneurial thinking and financial literacy, and to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in young people between the ages of 7 and 18 years.

Q. What are the different programmes on offer?

We run a variety of Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy programmes catering to the needs of Grades 1 to 9 learners as well as a Workplace Readiness programme for Grade 10 to 12 learners.

Q. I believe you are also involved with the Young Entrepreneurs Foundation? Tell me more about this.

What drew me to the Young Entrepreneurs programme was its strong social commitment, as I am extremely passionate about helping others.  Through the Young Entrepreneur Foundation Trust, I am currently involved in programmes where children from Charles Duna Primary School and Uitenhage Primary School are being equipped with skills to own their own future.  However, my dream for Nelson Mandela Bay is, in partnership with the Young Entrepreneurs Foundation Trust, to secure sponsorship from leading firms in this metro to ensure that the less fortunate children in our community also benefit from the Young Entrepreneurs programmes. “This is a real need”.

Photo credit: Young Entrepreneurs

 

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