Image: Tafadzwa Chikwereti (2021 Anzisha Prize Cohort) and his mom celebrating his graduation at National University of Science And Technology, Zimbabwe.
The bond between parents and their children is a unique and intricate one, shaped by love, support, and a desire to see them succeed. However, when a child decides to embark on the entrepreneurial path, this relationship can become even more complex and nuanced. The clash of traditional expectations, risk-taking, and differing perspectives can create both challenges and opportunities for growth.
In this thought-provoking and enlightening video from the online series Navigating the Journey: Raising Young Entrepreneurs, we bring together a diverse group of parents from various backgrounds and experiences to engage in a deep and meaningful discussion about their honest reactions when their children made the bold decision to pursue entrepreneurship as a viable and fulfilling career path.
WATCH as we explore the challenges and triumphs of parents who are nurturing business-minded kids!
Here we explore a few uncertainties associated with youth entrepreneurship and strategies on how parents can navigate the delicate dance of understanding, compromise, and support.
- Diverging Perspectives
Parents often prioritize stability, security, and a conventional career path for their children. On the other hand, entrepreneurial children are driven by a desire for independence, innovation, and the pursuit of their passions. These contrasting perspectives can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. It is crucial for both parties to engage in open and honest communication, allowing parents to understand their child’s vision and aspirations, while children acknowledge their parents’ concerns and fears.
- Risk and Uncertainty
Entrepreneurship inherently involves risk-taking and stepping into the unknown. Parents, who naturally worry about their child’s well-being, may find it challenging to accept the uncertainties associated with entrepreneurship. It is essential for children to demonstrate their preparedness, planning, and commitment to their chosen path. By sharing their business plans, market research, and strategies, children can help alleviate their parents’ concerns and build trust.
- Bridging the Generation Gap
Entrepreneurial ventures often involve embracing new technologies, digital platforms, and innovative business models. This can create a generation gap between parents and their entrepreneurial children, leading to differences in understanding and adapting to the rapidly changing business landscape. Encouraging mutual learning and fostering an environment of collaboration can bridge this gap, allowing parents to gain insights into emerging trends while children benefit from their parents’ wisdom and experience.
- Redefining Success
Parents often measure success in terms of financial stability, job security, and societal recognition. However, entrepreneurial children may define success differently, focusing on personal fulfilment, impact, and the pursuit of their passions. It is essential for parents to broaden their perspective and appreciate the non-traditional paths their children choose. By redefining success together, parents and children can find common ground and celebrate each other’s achievements.
ANZISHA FELLOW SPOTLIGHT
Zimbabwean entrepreneur Tafadzwa Ronald Chikwereti (Anzisha Fellow 2021) comes from an agricultural family. His passion for agriculture has been growing since he was a kid. He mostly spends his time visiting his father’s farm and surrounding areas to get more depth and understanding of the challenges that farmers face. Tafadzwa leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to provide solutions to local smallholder farming challenges. His enterprise, eAgro aims at creating low-cost insurance premiums and alternative credit scores tailored for unbanked and underserved farmers. eAgro has grown from a mini-project to a company run by young people that serve over 10 000 farmers in Zimbabwe, providing them with access to information on farming practices, crop management, and weather patterns. Access to finance enables them to invest in their farms and increase their yields, earn better prices for their produce, generate extra income and pay off fees.
Remember that the pursuit of entrepreneurship is not just a career choice but a transformative journey that challenges societal norms and pushes the boundaries of what is possible. It sheds light on the immense courage, resilience, and creativity required to embark on such a path, both for the aspiring entrepreneurs and their unwaveringly supportive parents.