Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking

Uncovering a lack of education focusing on entrepreneurial thinking and innovation, Grace and Olly developed a resource booklet and workshop series covering innovation and business planning tools. This was delivered to fifteen small business owners during a one-day workshop.

Grace and Olly’s project came from their belief that to develop a better community is to develop a greater entrepreneurial spirit, to attract jobs and greater wealth. Sustainable employment is key to breaking out of the poverty cycle and creating businesses is one way to overcome the barriers young people face, to becoming financially independent with full-time employment.

Originally, their project set out tackle the high level of youth unemployment by delivering a series of business knowledge workshops, to develop future entrepreneurs. Olly and Grace visited several businesses and networking events to gain an understanding of the causes behind a perceived lack of entrepreneurship amongst young South Africans. From speaking to several schools, they learnt that ‘business studies’ lessons are focused on key administration and accounting skills. Students were not being taught how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, specifically creative thinking and problem solving, which is important for any career, including self-employment.

This knowledge shifted focus away from teaching business knowledge. Instead, they developed a resource booklet and workshop series to teach key innovation concepts and business planning tools, to encourage creative thinking; testing their approach with a group of fifteen local small business owners. To ensure that their material could be replicated, they included lesson plans so that it could be delivered by anyone with basic business knowledge and shared it with a local NGO. This was tested by the wider team who delivered sessions during the one-day workshop.