BIZKID had its first graduation of kids entrepreneurs last weekend in Gaborone. The event, which was partially sponsored and hosted by Baobab Primary School, was an eye opener to many. It was an event full of motivation, inspiration and was very competitive.
Six schools, (Phakalane, Baobab, Regent, Ben Thema, Saint Mary’s and Hillcrest Primary Schools) took part.
The BIZKID is a ready-for-action Program aimed at grooming prospective business leaders through teaching the basics of entrepreneurship.
Launched by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcus Makgatho-Malesu, Bizkid aims at creating an upbringing of supported growth on free enterprise ensuring positive impact on kids. The program encourages and nurtures entrepreneurship by affording students opportunities for priceless experiences to profile their future. BIZKID simply helps children face uncertain future with certainty.
In an interview with the Sunday Standard, BIZKID Executive Director Moshe Seloko expressed confidence in their programs and said, “We strongly believe in the potential kids have and the need to inspire entrepreneurship at an early age. By instilling the right influences, kids can become sensational entrepreneurs. We have created our Entrepreneurial Program to help kids develop entrepreneurial ideas and to provide steps to take in the entrepreneurial journey.”
Leading to the graduation, the kids were taken through a 5-week intensive Entrepreneurship Development Program that saw them learn the entire entrepreneurship cycle, from brainstorming, to business registration, business idea development, product development, capital acquisition, selling of the products and finally presentation of the business result in the presence of a packed Baobab Auditorium and a panel of judges, which included Government officials, Corporate representatives, entrepreneurs as well as parents.
“I never knew my son could talk this much; I never thought he could gather so much courage and speak convincingly,” said a parent whose shy child “at home” surprised her and gave a great presentation to win his team a gold medal.
“It was so touching to see a 9-year-old confidently discussing marketing strategies and business financing the way they did; for me, I still do not grasp some of the concepts that these kids were talking about, and I see BIZKID changing people’s lives,” said another parent who attended the event.
Another parent was surprised to learn that BIZKID is not a government program and was happy as how the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Minister support the initiative.
“If only this could be adopted into the school curricular, we would have a better Botswana with more employers than employees,” said the parent.
For his part, the Director of Bizkid, Moshe Seloko, said the event exceeded their expectation as, initially, they had only planned to have one school participate at this event, but 6 schools did.
“I am pleased with the way parents responded to this program. They gave it the seriousness it deserves. Over the past 5 weeks, we never had a single student missing the workshop, which shows how serious parents take this.” He also showed gratitude to the management of the schools that participated.
“I am happy that headmasters from the six schools that are here were able to come see and support their students at these competitions; one of the schools went even an extra mile to postpone a huge school event to pave way for Bizkid competition, a gesture we are grateful for.”
The event was also a site for motivation and inspiration as two upcoming motivational speakers, Tebogo Diwanga and Catherine Mokobi gave mesmerizing presentations on The Dreams of Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship respectively, with two seasonal and renowned speakers, Moshe Seloko and Benson Phuthego, giving their best to ‘Challenge, Charge and Change’ the attendants.
Bizkid Marketing Executive, Laone Ramatokwane, encouraged parents to talk more about Bizkid to other parents as knowledge about Bizkid can change the entire lifestyle of a child, community and the country.
Asked about Bizkids reaching out to the whole country, she said that while Bizkids has just started recently, they are looking for corporate entities to assist in growing the program and spreading it to all the districts in Botswana.
She mentioned that they have already started receiving proposals from South Africa and Zambia for possible introduction of Bizkids in those countries. While they still have to consider that, she said it’s a great opportunity to extend to such huge markets.
“But it has to start here and grow outside. Batswana have to be given all the opportunity since Bizkid is a local initiative, before we can take it out,” said Ramatokwane.
She also said that in the next few months they will introduce Bizkids to more schools in the country and are looking forward to the favourable response from schools, but in the event some schools do not immediately accept the program, they have an out-of-school outreach where parents can still send their kids directly to Bizkids and attend weekend classes.