Wednesday saw the launch of a new mini-documentary and case study series about young African entrepreneurs designed to enable high-school and university educators to engage students meaningfully about entrepreneurship as a career path.
#ItStartsWithYou shed light on eight young Africans whose passion, commitment and grit showcased “what it means to embark on an entrepreneurial journey at a young age.”
The documentaries revealed new role models for other youths who might be considering entrepreneurship.
“Through the series, the Anzisha Prize is intentional in highlighting the importance of support from parents, educators, investors and policymakers if young people are to make successful transitions to entrepreneurship – as well as sharing key moments that are instrumental in each entrepreneur’s story,” Anzisha Prize said in a statement.
Through free-to-download case studies that accompany each documentary, it stated that educators would have a chance to delve deeper into each story and build lesson plans that encourage their students to see entrepreneurship as a career they can pursue.
The case studies will serve as a curriculum tool for educators who want to build entrepreneurial education into their schools and classrooms.
Peter Materu, Chief Programme Officer, Mastercard Foundation, explained, “We know that entrepreneurship is key to scaling up opportunities for millions of young people. But how do we nurture young entrepreneurs?
“Role models and active mentorship are both critically important. When young people see themselves reflected in the business world as leaders and owners, they intuitively understand that entrepreneurship is an option that is open to them and valued by others.”
Materu added that they also needed training, counselling and mentorship that “cultivates the practical skills, disciplines, and mindsets that are universally” necessary to take a good idea and turn it into a viable enterprise.
He further stated, “We are very excited to see the impact that the Anzisha young entrepreneurs have made. This documentary series, like the Anzisha Prize, combines the two powerful forces of inspiring example and practical instruction. It is our hope that many more will be inspired to test out their own entrepreneurial ideas.”
Over the last decade, the Anzisha Prize – a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation – has celebrated and supported young African entrepreneurs, championing the belief that youth unemployment can be combated by encouraging young people to start a business and hire their peers.
Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize, Melissa Mbazo, noted that while deciding on the most inspirational and realistic stories to tell, they realised that it was important to inspire behavioural change.
“We believe that educators play an integral role in whether or not young people pursue entrepreneurship. We wanted educators to feel empowered to teach entrepreneurship in a dynamic way. Through It Starts With You we hope students feel inspired as they see themselves reflected in the stories of entrepreneurs who are only a few years older,” said Mbazo.