Kenya has a significant number of young people, and simply there are no jobs for them all. Besides employment, entrepreneurship is a huge but underused option. Teaching entrepreneurship to young kids equips them with the indispensable foundational knowledge and skills such as risk-taking and emotional intelligence. It also develops their appreciation for self-employment opportunities.
Albeit Kenya has tried to tackle unemployment by equipping children with entrepreneurial skills while they’re still at school, the problem is still high across the country as well as the African continent.
Why is teaching entrepreneurship to kids important?
Becoming an entrepreneur is like becoming a professional football player. You don’t just decide at 20 years old that you want to learn football and expect to be playing for Manchester United or Arsenal FC in two years. It takes years of practice and making mistakes before you can play like a professional.
Entrepreneurship is similar because there is a high probability you will not be successful with your first business or even the next. However, failure is perfectly normal just like striking out in football is normal. You’re not going to hit home runs every time you go up to the plate. There are limitless business ideas. Do not think that failing in one idea means you can never start a business again. A true entrepreneur is constantly thinking of creative ideas.
Graduates and school leavers are struggling to find their way from education to employment. The path is complex and they don’t have a lot of useful tools to guide them. Exposure to entrepreneurial education as an early age can help develop attitude and skills that could enable them to loom their careers and lives with comprehensive strokes and identify more opportunities and possibilities, as well as consider the option of starting their own businesses.
Entrepreneurship teaches essential life skills, including communication, financial literacy, marketing skills and risk management all which will help young people grow personally and professionally. Entrepreneurship is about much more than business. It is a way of thinking, of seeing opportunities and of exploring multiple solutions to a problem, skills which can be applied to life.
The popularity of text messaging and social media, most young people today tend to be terrible at face-to-face and telephone communication. Successful businesses require that people actually speak to one another. Teaching your children to communicate effectively will give them a winning edge in business and in their personal relationships.
Entrepreneurship creates independence. Independence creates confidence. Entrepreneurial thinking shows young people how to depend on themselves for their own success which in turn leads to seasoned adults and future leaders.
Entrepreneurs are determined, confident, creative, self-motivated, innovative, curious and visionary. If we can teach all of our kids to think that way, we all stand to gain. In summary, kids should be taught entrepreneurship at an early age so they will have more time to build up experience and better understand how to sustain and expand a start-up.