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ITs HAPPENING!

: SOUTH AFRICAs IN-SCHOOL ENTREPRENEURSHIP


EDUCATION

The question is should we not consider to pro-actively address the youth


unemployment crises through the entrepreneurship development of the 12 million
learners at 30 000 schools in South Africa? To apply an approach that is responsive to
the niche of in-school entrepreneurship development and which is suitable to the
learners developmental stages as well as to their educational context. Currently
(although in-school EE is being very well received), very few learners know that
entrepreneurship as a career choice represents a viable career option. The vast
majority of learners are not being equipped with the skills or knowledge to pursue
such a career option. EWETs work and the work of others within this field is being up
scaled through the Department of Basic Educations announcement that in-school
entrepreneurship education will be initiated in 2017. It is now our task as civil society,
business and government to ensure the creation of a culture of entrepreneurship
within South African schools towards a bright future for our children, ourselves and for
our country as a whole.

How do we measure success when we proceed with in-school


entrepreneurship education? The 11 Principles that forms the basis of the annual
national Eskom Simama Ranta secondary schools competition are being helpful
here:
(1) Consensus exists amongst all from within a particular school on what an
entrepreneur is;

(2) Learning of the theory of entrepreneurship integrates within the textbooks and
teaching within the classroom across a range of subjects;

(3) An instruction based approach by Teachers on the teaching of entrepreneurship is


counterproductive which demands a facilitation approach from Teachers;

(4) Entrepreneurship education requires for Teachers involved to be trained and


for their expertise to be continuously developed within this specialised field of
expertise;

(5) The practical application of theory within extra-mural activities is critical for
effective entrepreneurial learning to be internalised for long term impact on learners;

(6) The statement it takes a community to raise a child reflects upon the need for
diverse stakeholders (business people, community leaders, employees of
financial institutions, business development support service providers, etc.)
engagements within the schools entrepreneurship education efforts to make it to
succeed within the live of each and every individual learner;

(7) The continuous monitoring and evaluation by the schools of its provision of in-
school entrepreneurship education enables the school to know how it is doing and
which strategies work or not;

(8) The learners must be afforded the opportunity to initiate and lead
entrepreneurship education related initiatives and projects with the support of adults
(mentor, advice and counsel) as this is critical to the entrepreneurial development of
each learners while such actions enhance self-motivation;

(9) The school must demonstrate that their actions on entrepreneurship education
dove-tails with the actions of its various departments; actions of surrounding schools;
actions of their Department of Educations district and provincial offices; as well as
with the actions of the national Department of Basic Education to illustrate a
systemic approach;

(10) Learners at the school must be exposed to the career options that
entrepreneurship present in order for more and more young people to be able to
become creators of jobs rather than job seekers which represents the most important
challenge that South Africa is facing: youth unemployment;

(11) An integral part of a schools entrepreneurship education drive is to cater for the
needs of those who are less fortunate than us while Teachers and learners network
with others involved in the provision of in-school entrepreneurship education to learn
from each other and to support each other.

Surely, all the work starts after consensus had been achieved amongst all
stakeholders on how we define entrepreneur? The Jeffry Timmons definition
had been most helpful to unpack what many call the entrepreneurial mindset: An
entrepreneur is - able to create and build a business or organization from practically
nothing; make things happen for themselves by accepting responsibility; turn set-
backs into opportunities; see gaps; sense opportunities; maintain effort until
objectives had been achieved; build founding teams of talents around them to
complement their abilities in areas where they are less knowledgeable or skilled;
initiate and do; have the know-how to find, marshal and control resources (often
owned by others) and make sure they do not run out of money when they need it
most and; take calculated risks, both personal and financial to then do everything
they possibly can to turn the odds in their favour.

So, is South Africa unique or are there other countries that are also
implementing (or implemented) in-school entrepreneurship education? South
Africa will enter into a vibrant community of learning and practice which is focussing
on in-school entrepreneurship education. Google Lackus, M. (2015) Entrepreneurship
in Education What, Why, When, How. to get some idea of the conversation within
OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)? Some ground work
had been done in South Africa by EWET (Education With Enterprise Trust) since 1992
while the Umsobomvu Youth Fund had a major pilot in the early 2000sends. The
worldwide conversation around in-school entrepreneurship education both from a
research perspective and in terms of the practice there-off hand never been as active
and vibrant as it is now while momentum will be gained as these initiatives are being
well resourced.

EWETs model evolved into three components: across curricula in-classroom syllabi
materials together with Teacher training; Youth Enterprise Society (YES) extra-mural
clubs lead by the learners where the learners works their way to gain competence
within 17 business related areas through the execution of activities and projects with
assessments done by business people and; the Simama Ranta competitions with two
versions: one for individual learner participants (YES) and a competition within which
schools participate (ESKOM funded). EWET is progressing towards the building of a
learner related entrepreneurship ecosystem being called Youth Enterprise Support
Network South Africa abbreviated as YESiNSA.

Saras Sarasvathys work on effectuation which resulted from research amongst


expert entrepreneurs has got quite an impact! Saras contrast effectuation with
causal based upon 5 principles: 1. Bird in hand speaks to who entrepreneurs are,
what they know and whom they know in contrast to - pre-set goals and or
opportunities; 2. Affordable loss in contrast to expected return; 3. If live gives you
lemons you make lemonade in contrast to avoiding surprises; 4. Patchwork quilt
co-creation in contrast to competitive analysis and 5. A Pilot-in-the-plane worldview
that deals with contingencies in contrast to inevitable trends. Prof. Sarah Robinson
from Aarhus University (Denmark) is applying effectuation within teacher training. As
with effectuation there are many more critical research and innovations that make
in-school entrepreneurship education to be one of the most interesting academic
pursuits that are currently being undertaken! Arie Bouwer. http://www.ewet.org.za