The group’s barely out of school but most have made up their minds... “We don’t want the mainstream jobs”. At the TiE Young Entrepreneurs programme, there’s now an attempt to reach out to as many schools as possible and in a meeting on Sunday, a selected 35 took the first steps towards “building a business”. “We wish to become the jobmakers and not the jobseekers,” says Juanita Thota, a class XI student.
From hundreds of applications that TiE received for this programme, these 35 were selected because “they believed in a change”. Safir Adeni, president of TiE Hyderabad says, “So many students don’t know about entrepreneurship and with programmes like these, we are teaching them about starting up on their own. People in their 50s don’t know how to pitch business plans either. And here these 16-year-olds are learning just that.”
And while they had similar programmes earlier too, this year, TiE has moved on from “expected areas”. “Entrepreneurship shouldn’t be just restricted to Gachibowli. From just four to five international schools participating in the earlier years, this year we have about 22 schools participating. So, we had to tighten the selection process. We wanted children to think about change,” reveals Sarif.
And the kids are dreaming big. Class IX student Kshiteissh Bhardwaj says, “I want to become the UN Secretary General and I want to modernise the country’s education system. We aren’t taught anything about entrepreneurship in our schools so, it’s time for us to start the process of innovation.” Agreeing with Kshiteissh, Disha Doshi, a class X student says, “I have always been interested in politics. There’s so much potential in our country and not just in the cities but in the rural areas too, we have to reach out to them and I want to be able to do that.”
And the sectors they are looking into aren’t just to making lives easier in urban India. Juanita says, “In every 100 start-ups, there’s only one start-up that succeeds. And I want to be able to help all those other start-ups.” Meanwhile, Vishal Ladha, a class XI student says, “I’m interested in work within the agricultural sector... making the Made in India truly possible.”
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