Entrepreneurship support organisation Qredits, YBI’s member in the Netherlands, has created an innovative educational programme called BeYourOwnBoss to train young would-be entrepreneurs to do just that. We spoke to Lotte Van Dijk, Product Manager at Qredits, to learn more about it.
Hi, Lotte! Why is there a need for entrepreneurship education specifically?
There is a huge global need for youth entrepreneurship because rates of youth unemployment internationally are so high. In Dutch-speaking parts of the Caribbean, for instance, there is a real problem with brain drain. With so few job opportunities, many young people are going to the US to work, leaving behind an aging population and a dwindling economy.
There is a huge need to offer alternative opportunities to young people, so they can create their own futures and solve problems they see in their own communities. Becoming an entrepreneur is a brilliant way to do that.
How does BeYourOwnBoss address that need?
During the BeYourOwnBoss Educational Programme, students will learn everything about what it is like to be an entrepreneur. The curriculum is easy to incorporate into regular classes and can be used within different organisations and for very diverse target groups.
Every aspect of entrepreneurship is discussed, including Personal Entrepreneurial Skills, Formulating Your Own Idea, Competitor Analysis, Marketing Plan, Financial Plan, and Pitching Your Business.
The programme is taught through e-learning, a mobile app, and a brief textbook. During the programme, every student works in a very practical manner on their own entrepreneur portfolio. Even if students conclude the programme and decide that entrepreneurship isn’t for them, that’s fine. It is still very important for them to know what their (entrepreneurial) qualities are for their future career opportunities.
Has BeYourOwnBoss become more important since COVID-19 hit?
Absolutely. Through COVID-19, so many young people are suffering – and by 2040, those young people will be the majority of the workforce. If they can’t get their work experience right now, that will be dangerous for all of us.
Who can deliver the BeYourOwnBoss curriculum?
The programme must be delivered by an organisation: for instance, entrepreneurship support organisations like YBI members, or schools. Our curriculum is designed for group classes.
How do you feel about the programme, personally? Do you enjoy working on it?
It’s a very exciting programme! I’m a young professional and recent graduate myself, and my generation is very much confronted by the problems caused by COVID-19. So it’s very motivating to work on a problem that currently all my friends are dealing with.
The Qredits team were delighted when BeYourOwnBoss won YBI’s Innovation Award in 2019. Although it’s a very young programme, we’ve already had so much excellent feedback from people who have been introduced to the materials worldwide – from Nigeria to California to the Caribbean.
Could the BeYourOwnBoss programme be right for your organisation? Find out more about the BeYourOwnBoss programme in this booklet, or get in touch with the Qredits team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.