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Entrepreneurship Education

Many primary school teachers find 5- and 6-year-olds have well-tuned entrepreneurial instincts. Project-based learning and entry-level ‘ideation’, along with simple exercises and games about sales and marketing, can sow the seeds of entrepreneurial talent. These seeds can then be nurtured throughout students’ school careers, climaxing in a fully researched, costed and viable business start-up plan completed before the student leaves school. The challenge of finding enough qualified teachers to teach this, and classes small enough to ensure effective learning can be mitigated by the widespread introduction of pyramid peer-teaching mechanisms.

Case Studies

Dandora Slum Waste Dump, Nairobi, Kenya

Hand in Hand Entrepreneurship Clubs: Hays Solo Frank, 15, and his classmates in the Dandora slum of Nairobi will not find good jobs.  Nor will millions just like them, a generation so robbed of job prospects they’ve been labelled a ‘ticking time bomb’ by their elders. Hand in Hand’s Entrepreneurship Clubs aim to change all that. Club members learn the basics of business and complete income-generating group projects, like making and selling soap, to subsidise their school fees. Today, almost 3,000 students in 180 clubs are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit. “I can say that I have started my career already,” says Hays.


Plan International’s Enterprise Your Life (EYL): This training programme is focused on six core enterprise / life skill topics: 1) Thinking Ahead; 2) Knowing your Market; 3) Decision-making; 4) Negotiation; 5) Wise Investments – and – 6) Being Different.  Following the trainings in Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt and Zambia, pre and post-tests found that Enterprise Your Life showed an uplift of 43% of knowledge after training, and youth set up 59,434 income generating activities of which 64% survived three months or more.  For many, this was their first attempt at generating income in a systematic way. The curriculum’s ‘coaching’ format featured interactive ‘fun’ learning techniques where coaches continued providing support and troubleshooting assistance after the course.

International Youth Foundation (IYF) Via Programme: For nearly 30 years, the IYF’s top priority has been to help young people succeed by ensuring they develop the skills to earn a livelihood. Via is a partnership with the Mastercard Foundation that seeks to update and re-invent the TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) systems in Tanzania and Mozambique by making their skills training more market relevant, preparing young people with the technical and life skills to be workforce ready, not just for their first job, but for a lifetime of work. Via will be driven by careful analysis of market opportunities, labour force needs and potential, and business ecosystems. It will directly benefit 30,000 economically disadvantaged youth by equipping them with the aspiration, grit and resilience to secure a decent job or the skills to start and grow enterprises.

The UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) is a reminder that job creation for girls often begins with getting them into schools. Working with NGOs and private sector partners, DFID aims to give one million of the world’s poorest girls the opportunity to improve their lives by going to school. It aims to improve literacy, numeracy and skills relevant to young women’s lives and work; to tackle harmful social and gender norms that contribute to girls being out of school; and to engage with the private sector, governments, civil society and other donors to thoroughly evaluate each intervention to understand what really works.  Based on that learning, DFID plans to work with governments and NGO practitioners to shape future policies and programmes to improve the quality of girls’ education and thus transform women’s futures.

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