By Damiete Braide

The chairman of Business Matters Incubators-Catch Them Young (BMI-CTY), Engineer Nnamdi Unachukwu has unveiled an initiative designed to foster entrepreneurship among young Nigerians.

Themed “Incubating African Kid Entrepreneurs for Next Generational Impact,” the initiative highlighted the efforts and dedication behind the groundbreaking project aimed at reducing poverty, fraud, unemployment, and insecurity in Nigeria through entrepreneurship education.

With excitement Unachukwu took the stage to celebrate the launch of a new initiative and his first book, marking a milestone of hard work and passion.

He shared his personal mantra, “Lost But Found,” which symbolizes the discovery of solutions that secure the future of young Nigerians as the nation’s future leaders.

He emphasized the urgent need for educational reforms that would shape the minds of young Nigerians, particularly those in rural areas. Through years of research, consultations, and hard work, his vision culminated in the creation of BMI-CTY. This initiative targets children aged 7 to 14, teaching them the necessary skills and mentality to become successful entrepreneurs. Unachukwu criticized previous short-term approaches that fizzled out with each new government and stressed the importance of long-term sustainable strategies.

The BMI-CTY initiative employs a unique methodology known as the “six senses approach” to entrepreneurship education. This comprehensive method includes a variety of tools such as textbooks, workbooks, decision books, video lessons, cartoon services, BMI fantasy day, practical manuals, and train the trainer journal manuals. These resources are aimed at modifying behavior, enhance cognitive processes, and integrate changes in values and attitudes during the crucial developmental stages from childhood to adolescence.

The goal is to foster self-esteem, efficacy, and self-confidence among young learners.

Unachukwu outlined the initiative’s long-term plan to groom the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs over the next 10 to 15 years. He stressed the importance of nurturing creativity, motivation, and problem-solving skills among children.

He acknowledged the need for collaboration among educational institutions, government agencies, and private sector partners to support educational reforms in the country.

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He also pointed out the potential impact of entrepreneurial education on economic growth, job creation, social innovation, and crime reduction in the country.

Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the Business Innovation Accelerator at Lagos Business School, acknowledged that entrepreneurial education is crucial for empowering youths to create their own opportunities rather than relying on traditional employment.

She stressed the importance of integrating entrepreneurial education into the curriculum, a mandate already recognized by the government. However, she identified a significant challenge; training the trainers. According to her, without educators possessing an entrepreneurial mindset, it would be impossible to effectively instill this mindset in students.

She praised the BMI-CTY initiative for addressing this gap and providing a comprehensive framework for entrepreneurial education.

Babatunde Jimoh, representing the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), also commended the initiative.

He highlighted the state government’s efforts to innovate within the educational system, including the introduction of technology curricula at the primary level.

Jimoh expressed optimism that BMI-CTY’s programme would encourage other NGOs to emulate its approach and further support the growth of entrepreneurial education in Nigeria.

Adding a youthful perspective, Cossy Ogboruche, a kid actor, shared her enthusiasm for the initiative. She spoke about the joy she finds in acting and the importance of pursuing one’s passions. Ogboruche encouraged her peers to explore entrepreneurial ventures alongside their hobbies, emphasizing the importance of preparing for the future in a country with challenging economic conditions.

The event was attended by some schools, including Glowfield International School, Early Spring School, Impacting Lives School, and Silver Sands Hall School. These schools were represented by students eager to learn about the new opportunities BMI-CTY would offer them.

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