Why Entrepreleaders School?September 26, 2023 2023-09-28 11:24
Why Entrepreleaders School?
Why Entrepreleaders School?
Welcome to another Entrepreleaders article. This article will address some questions revolving around my upcoming book, Think Inside the Box, the whole concept of Entrepreleaders House, and why I am driving this movement. The question we will focus on in today’s article is, “What made me start an entrepreneurial school?”. When I think about it, I have two main reasons why I have been propelled to start this school.
First reason: Current schools are becoming irrelevant
Reflecting on my primary school time, high school, undergraduate school, and postgraduate time, one of the things that challenged me and started my first business was the existing contrast between the knowledge and information that we were being given and how much of it is readily useful and applicable in the world outside of school. For the most part, the information we consume at school is good as an educational tool but hardly applicable to the real world. And I would know this from personal experience. While I was studying business in my last year as an undergraduate student, I was also leading a small startup. The staggering difference between what I was learning at school and on “the job” with my business was almost palpable. For instance, it still surprises me to this day how very little, close to none, is taught in business schools about the infallibility and benefits of failure when it is fundamentally impossible to succeed without first failing. This concept is one of the few practical things I believe are vital to know when starting a business. I believe more and more people are realizing that university, high school, and primary school may be great sources of knowledge, but there remains a serious gap when it comes to the practicality and actual usefulness of the information they teach. It almost feels as if the people creating education and academic content theorize the content rather than finding ways of making the tacit knowledge of those who have gone ahead transferable to the next generation. Let’s be real for a second and admit that the bulk of schools and university knowledge remains theoretical, rigid, and stuck in time rather than adaptable and applicable. It’s still for the most part information that needs to be transformed before it can be consumed into the real world. This realization created a deep frustration and a burning desire in me, given the opportunity one day, to put in place a school that would provide readily available and transferable tacit and consumable knowledge. I wanted to make sure that school became incredibly practical, and focused on the real needs of the real economy.
Second reason: “Startup The Leadership Way”
The second and more concrete reason why I started this school is a bit less altruistic. In 2018, I launched my very first book “Startup the Leadership Way“. This book highlights the importance of having people, the right people when starting and launching a business. In simpler terms, you simply can’t do it by yourself and I was speaking from the personal experience of my business bankruptcy in the previous years. Although the book didn’t sell millions of copies, the feedback I started receiving from readers was compelling and quite insightful. Readers’ feedback was mainly around the transparency about my failures and the different lessons learnt as well the unique approach it offered about providing practical steps to launching a business. One particular reader, a Ph.D. student, after taking the time to review the book carefully, told me straight ‘’ you’ve got to get this book across the continent mate!”. Hearing these words sparked something completely new in me; as the BIG picture person I am ( which often drives my wife insane), I simply thought to myself, I really need to shoot it across Africa. As you can see, it is no coincidence that the motto of our entrepreneurial school is “Think Big, Start Small, and Lead with impact”. This practical and readily consumable knowledge should be accessible to everyone I thought to myself at the time. Those words birthed the idea of starting a school that would teach these values and readily available and consumable/ actionable knowledge. As a matter of fact, I initially started it as a mentorship program. With 20 youths signed up, I decided to rent a friend’s hotel conference room to launch the mentorship program. You cannot begin to imagine the disappointment when on the first day, only two students showed up. Needless to say, the cost of running the program at that point was more than what I was making but as any entrepreneur cursed with the disease of optimism, I pushed through. Two years later, I had 20 students and boldly decided to move from running a simple mentorship program to starting an academy that would eventually turn into “Entrepreleaders School”. Why not, really why not…? Today we have trained over 400+ students across South Africa, Tunisia, and Gabon and we’ve had the privilege of growing relationships with universities and various institutions in Uganda, Kenya, and the Netherlands.
My hope in starting this school is that our knowledge, and methods of facilitating and transferring knowledge won’t just stay in my school but be applied in and shared across high schools and universities throughout the continent of Africa. This Entrepreleaders Movement in the long term will not only produce consumable knowledge but will also generate young entrepreneurs capable of both creating practical solutions to real African problems but also employment for the growing numbers of high school and university graduates coming out yearly.