“I would like to be a neurosurgeon and an entrepreneur when I complete my higher education,” says Sheila, a Form 4 science student at St Jude Girls’ Secondary School.
Arranging desks and getting ready to give her weekly updates to the teacher, who is also a club mentor and her fellow club members, Sheila explains, “I’m the chairperson of the Entrepreneurship Club. My role is to supervise and make sure all activities are completed on time. I believe as an entrepreneur, you have to be responsible. So, part of the responsibility is to complete assignments regardless of which class level you are in.”
Entrepreneurship Club is one of the 10 extra-curricular clubs at St Jude’s. This club, started by students, was specifically created to foster their entrepreneurship spirit and equip them with essential entrepreneurship skills.
Explaining the club’s activities, Sheila says, “The club has different activities. We learn about agriculture, designing things like handbags, clothes and art.”
Sheila, who leads a team of 32 club members, believes the knowledge she’s receiving from being a member of the club has had a huge impact on her ability to be able to recognise gaps around her community that she can later turn into business opportunities.
“I always take these skills back home. During my school breaks, I make and sell cards and decorate bottles that people can use for home decoration items. This venture earns me some money that I then use to help my family,” she adds.
About one third of Tanzania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) originates from the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector.
“Entrepreneurship Club is a forum where students get to meet, network and share ideas. They also get to practice entrepreneurship skills in real life after learning theoretically in class,” states Mr Ally, Head of Business and ICT.
The club provides a learning-by-doing environment where students learn different business skills, such as the scope of entrepreneurship, developing business plans and advice on creating a start-up. Students also participate in different projects, such as horticulture.
“Last year our project was based on horticulture. The students cultivated kale and we were able to supply the school with more than 100 kilograms of the vegetables,” Mr Ally says proudly.
“With the high rate of unemployment in Tanzania, we equip our students with know-how in business planning, creativity skills, critical thinking and importance of teamwork. I believe this will make our students ready to tackle the world head-on,” he adds.
As a member and a treasurer of the club, Leila, Form 4, has always had a passion for entrepreneurship. She believes that she’s now more enlightened about entrepreneurship than before she joined the club.
“Being an entrepreneur is about passion. If you want to do something you must do it. I try and apply the skills I’m learning from the club when I go home,” Leila said.
She adds, “I have a small piece of land at home that I’m using to grow vegetables. With the harvest I get, I’m now able to sell the vegetables and the remainder is used as food for my family. This has had an impact on my family’s life, as they receive some of the money I make for small errands.”
Leila hopes that one day she’ll be able to establish her law firm and provide employment within her community.
“Every class I attend broadens my mind. I get to know and learn useful real-life skills. I’m confident that once I complete high school, with the skillset I’m getting, I will be able to run my law firm,” she says confidently.
St Jude’s encourages clubs like the Entrepreneurship Club to foster creativity, educate, and improve students’ skills in creating, collaborating and communicating to prepare students to become successful and innovative leaders of Tanzania.
You can support these budding young entrepreneurs by sponsoring a student’s academic scholarship today.