By Daniel Mpala
Policy change in education is key to achieving the vision encapsulated by the Anzisha Scenarios, says Hustler Academy founder Sbu Leope.
The Anzisha Scenarios green paper envisages an increase in young Africans with high potential opting for entrepreneurship as a career over more traditional office or farm work.
Speaking during a panel discussion at last month’s Very Young Entrepreneur Education & Acceleration Summit in Johannesburg, Leope (pictured above) said achieving the vision laid out in the green paper comes down to improving the education system.
He suggested that entrepreneurship, particularly social entrepreneurship become compulsory at high school level. “I feel that will make a very big impact,” he said.
Leope believes each student should be set up in a social entrepreneurship venture that puts people ahead of profits.
“If we can teach and enforce young people at high-school level to go through learning social entrepreneurship, even if they don’t become entrepreneurs at a later stage, when they do get to work for companies, they are going to work for companies with that entrepreneurial mindset,” said Leope.
Leope explained that this mindset will also encourage young people to treat these companies like they belong to them.
He said this work ethic will also encourage innovation and creativity, adding that it will also lead to young people performing “a lot better” than people who would have taken the job just to get paid.
Leope’s point was further supported by Junior Achievement CEO Elizabeth Bintliff who instead proposed that entrepreneurship be taught earlier than just high school.
Bintliff argued that already by age eight, children know what kind of lifestyle they want to have.
“What they don’t understand is what it takes to accomplish that so if you tell an eight-year-old when you grow up you can make $20 000, they’re going to think, ‘Oh I’m set.’
“But when you start explaining to them what it takes, you know in taxation and all of the financial implications then they start really thinking about their life,” she said.
African Network of Entrepreneurs founder and CEO Ekow Mensah, who was also part of the panel, believes to mainstream entrepreneurship more engagement must be held with the government.
Getting youth better acquainted with entrepreneurship at a young age is vital then to Africa’s future. It probably is high time then that entrepreneurship is taught in schools.
Featured image: Hustler Academy founder Sbu Leope (Supplied)