Mrs Bowale Agboade, a successful entrepreneur herself, has created a fantastic initiative aimed at encouraging and boosting the entrepreneurial spirit in children.
Agboade is the founder of The Kid Entrepreneurs Club, and last year, she organised Nigeria’s very first kids’ entrepreneurs fair in Lekki. The fair attracted over 70 children-owned businesses.
In a recent interview, she talked about why she does what she does and what her main objectives her. Excerpts below.
On why she founded the club:
Kid Entrepreneurs Club is the first Development Centre in Nigeria for kids age 5 to 15. We are extremely passionate about sparking up the entrepreneurial spirit in kids and we do this majorly through experience and project-based learning. We believe that entrepreneurship is the dream of our nation and since kids are the biggest dreamers, it’s best to introduce them early to the concept of entrepreneurship.
Kid entrepreneurship isn’t about having kids focus all their time on business instead of school, rather, it is about helping kids develop necessary life skills that cannot be taught at school but can certainly be cultivated in the course of running their own micro businesses.
Skills such as leadership, self-confidence, resilience, problem-solving, financial literacy, independence, networking, creativity, effective communication, generosity, goal setting and many others.
Our vision and hope is that by introducing kids to entrepreneurship, they will develop to become responsible and independent members of society who have been delivered from the poisonous entitlement mentality that is prevalent in our society today.
On what inspires her
Every parent’s worst nightmare is having a 20 something year old who does nothing all day but sit behind TV screens or lazing around on the internet. To avoid this we have to introduce our kids early on to entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship will teach our kids the value of hard work and separate them from the kids who have to wait on other people to get things done for them.
Her advice for parents
Parents can help their kids develop entrepreneurial skills by introducing them to the concept of entrepreneurship, allowing them to run micro-businesses. This is important because while adulthood is filled with serious responsibilities and encounters, childhood isn’t exactly stress-free. Kids take tests, learn new information, change schools, change neighbourhoods, get sick, get braces, encounter bullies, make new friends and occasionally get hurt by those friends.
What helps kids to navigate these kind of challenges, is the possession of a combination of life skills. skills like self-confidence to overcome bullying, resilience to keep them going even where they have failed, creativity to help them solve problems outside of conventional ways, goals setting to help them achieve their dreams and so on.
We have become a generation of parents trying to make sure our kids are completely comfortable, trying to stay one step ahead of everything our kids are going to run into. The problem is that life doesn’t work that way. There is no way we can ALWAYS be there for everything our kids go through. Entrepreneurial mindset is what helps prepare our kids for whatever life may throw at them.
Interview conducted by Sola Abe for Woman.ng