Entrepreneurship and innovation means different things to different people. When people take up entrepreneurship and innovation projects, focus is usually on training people in a particular skill, either bead making, soap making, ICT related courses and many others. InspiNest would like to change mindsets and redefine the thought of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Our mantra is simple; changing mindset towards innovation. Every individual has their own passion and what motivates them. It will be a time-drain to train someone in a particular skill then after a year or two, the person neglects it just because it was imposed or for the simple reason of not being passionate about it.
HOW DO WE CHANGE MINDSETS THEN?
Every venture you set up must come easily to you.
This is why we do what we do. We want young people to identify within themselves things they would like to change. Things they consider problems that they can solve. Things they can relate to in their local communities. That is where the change of mindset begins.
If young adults can define their own path and figure out what to do in their own space, then we can say we’ve done a good job of inculcating entrepreneurship and innovation spirit in them.
Taking reference from our changemaker trainings we’ve done so far, most of these young girls came with varied expectations, varied thoughts and reasoning on how entrepreneurship should look like. We all agree that it should be looked at as an art through which you make profit or establish a business but we see the journey as a change in mindset in order to solve a problem.
We want people to have fun while being innovative. The creative process is harnessed effectively when you have fun doing it. One of the activities we focused on was including games into the training. The girls become more involved when they’re having fun.
These games help shape their thought process too. For instance, our risk taker game involves throwing a ball from a distance into a pit. The higher point you throw from, the higher points you get. This is related to any business, even banks make this assertion that investing involves risk, the higher the risk, the higher the returns.
Same as entrepreneurship, if you need to bring something into existence, you have to be willing to take higher yet calculated risks for it. The simple way of teaching the girls this was through a game. That’s a mindset change there because, complex things were broken down into much more relatable context.
Another angle to take into consideration when seeking to change mindsets is drawing inspiration from people, surroundings and many more. People become more creative and innovative when they can draw inspiration from it. Our entrepreneurial pitch forms a major part of our training exercise.
We have seen how engaged the young girls become when external presenters in the form of entrepreneurs share their journey with them. The highs and lows these entrepreneurs share serve as a major inspiration to our young ones. They now believe that, if someone LOCAL can do it, then they can do it too.
We change mindsets by seeing issues more as opportunities other than problems. We have this mantra that says, if it annoys you, then it probably annoys someone else. It goes to affirm that problems will always exist, it’s up to as us individuals to try to solve them. But seeing them as problems might be limiting.
We should then ask ourselves how best we can provide a solution to it. That is all we preach to our young females. They should find any problem within their local community, draw inspiration from others, get feedback, make adjustments then build upon it.
By doing this, it becomes an opportunity to exploit their creative and innovative side which goes a long way to be a business venture if it’s feasible. Thus satisfying our vision of bringing up innovative entrepreneurs.
At InspiNest, our young females should after the one year form new mindsets regarding innovation and entrepreneurship. This change should also trickle down to their communities, peer groups and nation at large.
Our evaluation report shows that 75 mindset changed at the end of the BONO changemakers workshop.