Entrepreneurs are intrinsical, problem solvers. Sometimes the problem is discernible, but mostly it is the uncanny art of perceiving a problem that can be solved. But what if from a young age, your mind is trained to see a problem and help is rendered to get to its solution? Seems far-fetched, but totally true and in fact, happening right now.
Former school teacher Lisa Heydlauff came from the UK two decades ago in a quest to know "how children go to school in India" - her expedition got her the answer but she also delivered a secret recipe to produce the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs.
Lisa Heydlauff unleashed an initiative amongst India's school children and youth to help them cultivate their instincts to turn into problem solvers. Launched in Delhi some weeks ago and recently in Kolkata, the initiative called Map of Me is soon to address probable entrepreneurs in Bengaluru.
For Lisa Heydlauff, MoM is a mobile/digital set of stories to enable young people everywhere to learn 21st Century Entrepreneurial Skills and explore new problem-solving enterprises they can start in the city, she says, "MOM is for young people, so it's about skills and how to be an entrepreneur in the city, how to get people together around your idea, how to start something new that is for-profit creates jobs and helps a lot of people. MOM has two audiences young people age 18-23 who have mobile phones and commute to work by public transport, and it's for young people in Grade 11 and 12 to explore our 26 steps to make a new school to work-life plan."
What Map of Me (MoM) Does
If you are between the age group of 16-18 and what to explore your school to work-life plan or if there is a problem you want to solve, you can go follow Map of Me's 26 steps and create a business/entrepreneurial online bullet journal for yourself. 26 steps are aeries of easy steps to guide young people through the process of thinking of a problem and finding a solution. At the end of the exercise, the path to the goal is magically unfurled in your own bullet journal. The information you found is saved, designed, and logged for you to understand the plan you're making.
Online To Offline
While the initiative is currently online because of the lockdown, it will be reaching schools once they reopen, when BT volunteers and Going to School teams take the 26 steps online platform to young people in Government schools, bringing both the technology and mentoring aspect of being able to ask someone with a cool career how they did what they do.
Highlighting Young Entrepreneurs
Map of Me covers what young people want to know about in the city from Street Food to Street Art and has a fierce commitment to digging deep and understanding how young entrepreneurs in the city are problem-solving for everyone. There are over 100 stories on the channel featuring young sustainable entrepreneurs, most of whom are young women. Over the past few weeks, MoM has recorded almost every kind of triumph in Bangalore, Take, for instance, these young influencers who are giving it their best to make Bangalore a better city.
1. Madhavi Shankar (30) is the founder of 'SpaceBasic', an interactive networking platform, which addresses critical problems like student safety checks, digital data management, open and improved communication channels between all stakeholders within independent student housing communities (SHC) and SHCs in schools and colleges. Madhavi started SpaceBasic in 2017 which is headquartered in the US, while Bangalore functions as a branch office. SpaceBasic is associated with over 70 educational institutions and 120,000 users in Karnataka with an active presence in Delhi and Mumbai.
2. Rashi Thakran is a 22-year-old 'mental health advocate'. Tragedy struck Rashi's family in early 2019 when her 18-year-old brother committed suicide. She then took it upon herself to raise awareness on mental health and depression and make people aware of how critical it is to address the issue, especially in the family. Rashi is also a member of the International Youth Council and writes vigorously on mental health.
3. Ayush Gharat (15) has designed software that helps keep better check on malnutrition in children. His app called 'mNutrition', helps organizations to identify malnourished children on the streets and render help when needed. Health workers have been mNutrition to input relevant medical details like age, sex, height, weight, etc. This is then used to check for malnourishment by using the World Health Organisation's calculation formula to test the same.
Understandably young people are feeling low in lockdown, MOM hopes to cheer young people up with compelling stories to be able to learn skills and do new things. MOM is online, free, new content every day and you can even win cool stuff if you answer the quizzes correctly - bicycles, helmets, and backpacks to cycle to school or work? Yes!
Past & Current Success
As proof of success and her vision. Lisa has spent many years in India creating educational solutions for young people from low-income groups to develop entrepreneurial skills if it's offline through graphic novels in 1,000 Government Secondary Schools in Bihar, or online through the newly launched Map of Me or on TV, The Children's Scrappy News Service and School TV are compelling narratives about what young people can do to problem-solve for everyone using their design-thinking entrepreneurial skills toolbox.
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