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A Message from the IUGB Foundation Executive Director (April 2019)

amini-kajunju-copyIUGB is an American-style English-instruction university located in French-speaking Cote d’Ivoire. In keeping with our mission to stay close to the best aspects of tertiary education in America, IUGB offers three degrees in the School of Business. One of the key characteristics of American higher education is how entrepreneurism permeates throughout universities and colleges across the USA. It is important to note this entrepreneurism environment does not start with the university. Younger students are exposed to entrepreneurship in high school and even elementary school. This is why it was a great honor to be a panelist at the Dubai’s Global Education and Skills Forum and speak on a panel titled: How to Teach Entrepreneurship to 11-year-olds.

Now, one can get very technical by using words and concepts like profit and loss, break-even, burn rate, supply and demand or market research while teaching entrepreneurism to an 11 year old. However, at this impressionable age for which an entrepreneurial personality can develop and strengthen, I would focus on the attitudes and personal attributes of entrepreneurial people.

These attributes include confidence, initiative, optimism, problem solving and possessing a bias toward action. I would take another step further and ask the adults in a young child’s life to create an environment in which a child can express himself or herself freely, experiment with new and old ideas, challenge the status quo and respect and value people of all walks of life. Finally, once a young person or an adult with an entrepreneurial mindset is in the midst of starting and building a business, it does not hurt to know to interpret a business spreadsheet and profit and loss statement.