instilling a winning mindset in the young

Danie Jacobs, Founder & CEO of the Young Entrepreneurs Virtual Academy, South Africa

This article was first published in 2021 in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network eZINE Volume 4 no 1

Danie Jacobs is the Founder & CEO of the Young Entrepreneurs Virtual Academy and the founding Trustee of the Young Entrepreneurs Foundation in South Africa. He is also the Founder and CEO of the Gigxup Mastermind Academy. In this article, Danie explains their offering in more detail; offers an opportunity for individuals and organisations to become involved, and; presents the ultimate resource for educators in the form of the Young Entrepreneurs Membership Portal.

1. Tell us more about the Young Entrepreneurs Virtual Academy

It is the first online business school for kids, teens & young adults and offer age-specific instructor-led & self-paced courses. We teach vital entrepreneurial, financial literacy, and self-employment skills and help participants to start and grow their own micro-enterprises in a fun and experiential way.

More specifically we empower children and young adults (1) to become their own Boss; (2) acquire a Millionaire Mindset, and; (3) be equipped for the rapidly changing World of Work. Our programmes allow kids to discover money and business through play and a collection of fun interactive, multi-media minds-on and hands-on activities, games, simulations, videos and online applications. Yes, we edutain – educate and engage through entertainment and play.

Image credit: Young Entrepreneurs

2.What differentiates your offering?

Entrepreneurship ‘per se’ cannot be taught. For years we got the packaging wrong. We teach business science, business management, business theory and business acumen, and call this entrepreneurship. It is not the same thing. The entrepreneurial mindset consists of attributes that are instilled through repetitive experiential exposure from a very young age.

Cultivating entrepreneurship in the young is vital, as children are born imaginative, energetic and willing to take risks, but without entrepreneurial education, the enterprising spirit of children dramatically declines over time and is almost non-existent by the time they graduate from high school.

Our programmes start at age 4 with a puppet show called Tinypreneurs. This is followed by Minipreneurs (ages7-8), Be Centsable Minipreneurs, Kidpreneurs (ages 9-12), Be Centsable Kidpreneurs, BizTeens (ages 13-15), Be Centsable BizTeens, and Licence to Lead (ages 16-18).

3. How can individuals or organisation become involved?

We are expanding internationally and seek affiliates and strategic representatives. For the representatives we set up a fully localised website and shop to sell our full host of courses. For more information on this opportunity you can visit the following page:

4. Tell us more about the Young Entrepreneurs Membership Portal for Educators

We took the bold decision to scale our purpose even further and equip educators with all the tools and resources they need to teach entrepreneurship, financial literacy and 21st century self-employment skills to the young. More specifically members get the following:

  • Immediate access to 14 age-specific CURRICULUMS (including printable Workbooks, Certificates, Facilitator Guides, PowerPoint Presentations & Facilitation Tools)
  • A monthly GROUP COACHING session
  • Membership to a Facebook-like COMMUNITY of like-minded peers
  • Course material on 'How to raise business-minded children?'
  • Course material on 'How to raise money-smart kids?'
  • Course Material & Resources for 3 x Holiday Programmes

For more information on the Membership Portal:

5. What is your biggest challenge in teaching entrepreneurship?

Ignorance. The primary objective of teaching the entrepreneurial mindset is not that everyone should start ‘traditional’ businesses. It should be evident that COVID-19 has fast forwarded the anticipated effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and we will see a significant increase in self-employment and the number of micro-enterprises in the coming decades. The future is built around skillsets and our ability to commercialise these. Conventional careers will be replaced by a portfolio of jobs and permanent employment will become a relic of the 21st century.

This is the reason why we need to equip the young with an entrepreneurial (winning) mindset. They need to solve problems, see opportunities, create value and adopt to change. They need to propel themselves forward despite circumstances. They need to embrace failure, extract value from mistakes and take calculated risks. They need to become resilient, accountable, self-reliant and responsible. They need to be optimistic, be dreamers and lifelong learners. ◼️