Social Entrepreneurship 101: 2009, Part 3 – The Way Forward
In Social Entrepreneurship 101: 2009, Part 1 – What a Difference a Year Makes and Social Entrepreneurship 101: 2009, Part 2 – Micro-Finance of a 3-part blog about Social Entrepreneurship 101: 2009, I discussed the program details and micro-finance options. In this final part of the blog, I share with you the 5-year plan for the SE 101 program.
After four years, while we have a comprehensive and well-tested curriculum for teaching how to write a business plan, we realize that SE 101 could not JUST be about UBC students travelling to Kenya or other African country to co-teach business planning. It is important to have a sustainable and scalable program.
In lengthy discussions with our local business partners and associates, we mapped out a 5-year vision to establish an (youth) entrepreneurship center, jointly supported by the Sauder School of Business and a Kenyan educational institution. The center would have the mandate of teaching youth how to write business plans, providing access to loans at reasonable interest rates, incubating and supporting businesses, conducting research, and providing for-fee consulting and executive education services (to sustain the center’s operations). The Sauder School of Business will take part in student and faculty exchanges, but the majority of the operations will lead by local partners.
In the more immediate future, we will be dividing the program into pre-core, core, and post-core segments. The pre-core program will help interested program participants develop their ideas, gain experience running a business, and learn basic business skills. The core program will continue to teach business planning but will focus on those participants who have had some demonstrated entrepreneurial experience. Clearly, not everyone can or should be an entrepreneur and therefore we must focus our efforts on those individuals who have the highest chance of success. By training and supporting these individuals who have shown a passion and talent for entrepreneurship, we aim to launch businesses that can provide jobs to other community members. Finally, the post-core program will teach intermediate and advanced business skills training. Throughout all the programs, SE 101 will bring in mentors and advisors from the local business community to provide guidance to current and past program participants. In fact, the first post-core program is currently running at our sites, run by our local coordinator, Barlet Jaji.
We have big plans for the SE 101 program, with many details to be worked out, tasks to be completed, and people to speak to, but we are truly excited about the opportunity to have a positive, sustainable impact on (youth) unemployment in Kenya. I will continue to provide updates on our progress and welcome any feedback or suggestions for what we can do to make this vision come to fruition.