Teen Entrepreneur Academy founder, Adeola Babatunde, studied Urban and Regional Planning at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She started her career in 2009 at Vios Consulting as a Business Analyst. She is the Founder and Lead Consultant at Inside Business Consulting and Founding Partner at ConsultingYouth Nigeria.
CN: What motivated you to set up an entrepreneurship academy and why did you decide to focus on teenagers?
When I was 17 years old, I read some books that opened me up to the possibility of owning my own business and shortly after that, I started my business. I got a contract that was huge to me at that time (the total sum was about N300,000). I was excited as the highest sum I had made prior to that was N48,000 which was also a large sum to me. I started to execute the contract but somewhere along the way, I went back to school, sold my phone and that was the end of my business. Every time I look at myself today I say ‘I can only imagine who I would have become and the empire I could have built had I stayed in business’. There were so many things I did not know and there was no one to teach me or show me. I knew where I wanted to go but I didn’t know how to get there!
In 2014, I decided to make my life count by setting up an academy where teenagers can learn about business and formally learn what they need to know to become successful entrepreneurs.
A few years ago, I was invited to write a test for an International Oil Company. I gave glory to God for working in the oil sector and began to confess my way into this oil company even though we had not written the test! On the day of the test, I saw so many people. I saw people who had left school years ago, people who graduated at the same time as me, and people who recently graduated. The place was filled to the brim; the test had to be written about several times that day! I was very hopeful! Shortly after the results were out and I didn’t pass the test, it turned out the Oil company only needed two people! ‘Oh my God! Just two people and half of all the graduates in Nigeria turned out,’ I said. It was obvious, there weren’t enough jobs, which led me to the question, Why not create more jobs? This was the second reason I founded Teen Entrepreneur Academy. To make young Nigerians know that they can create jobs for themselves and for many other families, and to give them the necessary support to successfully create jobs.
I decided to focus on teenagers because I believe if we teach young people how to start and run successful businesses from a tender age, they have time to make mistakes and learn. They are also most likely still living with their parents and can leverage on some of the free resources (office space, Wi-Fi, parent’s phone, electricity etc.) they already have at home to reduce overhead. Thirdly, when they graduate from university, they can move straight into a business they are used to and understand, instead of joining the unending pool of job seekers.
CN: What services does the Teen Entrepreneur Academy provide?
Right now we provide entrepreneurial education for teenagers. Watch out for our other service offerings.
CN: How can a parent tell if their teenager belongs here?
I typically would give a list of traits to look out for in a teenager but I think every teenager regardless of what traits they have should be part of TEA. This is because a lot of teenagers do not know exactly what they are good at. Most of them are struggling to find their feet. A teenager who has no interest in entrepreneurship and is introduced to it might develop an interest in it when he or she sees the benefits particularly financial independence and confidence. After taking the course, the teenager might then decide that this is for me or otherwise. I think as parents we owe it to our children to give them opportunities and platforms for success. TEA is one of such platforms.
CN: What’s your Teen Basic Entrepreneurship Course (TBEC) all about?
Teen Basic Entrepreneurship Course is the gift of a lifetime. We refer to it as the gift that keeps giving. TBEC is all about introducing teenagers to the world of entrepreneurship and the basic things they need to know about starting and running a small business.
The curriculum includes:
- How to identify your passion.
- How to generate business ideas.
- How to go from idea to start up.
- What you need to know as a young business owner.
- Finance and record keeping.
- Business registration & other legalities.
- Bank account opening.
- Excellent customer service.
- Sales and marketing.
- Branding and packaging.
- Savings & investments.
At the end of the course your teenager will have the ability to:
- See business opportunities everywhere.
- Turn an idea into a startup.
- Access to a support network for building their business
- Membership to a closed network of young business owners and mentor
Your teenager becomes business savvy and receives a TBEC certificate.
CN: What’s your long term vision for the Teen Entrepreneur Academy?
My long-term vision for TEA is to be the Harvard Business School for Africa where teenagers all over our continent can come and prepare to become future CEOs. Africa needs entrepreneurs that will change our continent and TEA will train those entrepreneurs!
Facebook: Teen Entrepreneur Academy NG