Today, the YUVA Academy launched the first session of its sixth cohort for The Entrepreneurial Mindset (TEM) and Leadership for Social Change (LSC) programmes with 42 aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders.
Mr Kris Padayachy, the trainer for the entrepreneurship programme, started this first session with a brief introduction of himself and then of the missions and visions of YUVA and the YUVA Academy. He then gave the opportunity to each participant to introduce themselves and express their reasons behind attending the entrepreneurship programme. This allowed the participants to get to know and be at ease to communicate and interact with each other.
The session proceeded with the importance of respect in all aspects of running a business. With the eradication of respect and values nowadays, so many entrepreneurs are not being able to achieve their dream of seeing their business succeed simply because of a lack of basic respect towards customers, colleagues and partners.
Being a former entrepreneur, Mr Kris Padayachy proceeded by sharing his experience, as someone coming from a poor background to launching and running a successful business, through self-learning. He also emphasised the importance of reading as a crucial element in helping him to reach success.
Afterwards, the participants were organised into groups and were tasked to think about and develop an idea for a business. Different interesting ideas were exchanged and the participants were guided to think about how they could further develop these ideas into entrepreneurial ventures.
Next, participants were made to reflect on SMEs in Mauritius and were encouraged to conduct more research in order to discuss the same in the next session. This first session has triggered participants to think about entrepreneurial ventures and provided them with a platform to express and develop their ideas into concrete projects.
The Leadership for Social Change (LSC) programme was delivered by Mr Krishna Athal. He started this first session with a few ice-breaking activities in order for the aspiring leaders to get to know each other. The participants explained their motives behind attending the leadership programme. Mr Krishna then explained the high need for leadership skills in our era and the aim behind the Leadership for Social Change (LSC) programme to create more leaders for the growth and development of the country.
This was followed by an activity on leadership, whereby participants conveyed their definition of leadership through a sculpture made out of modelling clay. Each aspiring leader then presented their shapes to the others and explained the reasons behind choosing that specific shape and how it symbolised leadership.
This engendered debates on different situations that arise when exercising leadership. For example, whether leaders have a specific gender, where they are situated in a group, whether leaders are born, whether Adolf Hitler was a leader or not and about who can be a leader. This triggered the participants to think more elaborately about leadership and to change their preconceived notions on the concept.
The trainer then went on to explain that leadership does not have one specific definition and elaborated on the different styles of leadership while using examples of cases that are encountered on a daily basis. The session ended with participants putting themselves in different situations where they were faced with ethical dilemmas. Their solutions to the dilemmas represented their current values and ethics and allowed them to identify areas that they needed to work on to become better leaders.
These first sessions on entrepreneurship and leadership have been important in piquing the interest of the participants and encouraging them to think more deeply about the two different concepts and how they can or have already been applying these into their lives.