Young boys living in vulnerable housing are at greater risk of not getting an education and being excluded from the labour market. But with the help of entrepreneurship, Mind Your Own Business has found a way to get these young boys closer to education and the labour market.
Increased wellbeing, improved professional and social skills, and a stronger connection to the education system and the labour market. This is the result of the Mind Your Own Business entrepreneurship program “The Program” and “The Academy”, where young boys from vulnerable housing over eight months get the opportunity to start and develop their own micro-business.
And although the boys often go all-in with their micro-businesses, the goal is neither for the companies to be listed on the stock exchange nor for the boys to pitch on Dragon's Den.
Instead, Mind Your Own Business wants to strengthen the boys' ability to behave in the education system and ensure a positive wellbeing, by, among other things, strengthening the boys' faith in their own abilities and skills along with establishing positive relationships with other people.
And the results speak for themselves:
“We believe that the young boys have something to contribute. Our results prove this quite clearly, ”says Maria Kavita Nielsen, founder of Mind Your Own Business, and continues: “The course at Mind Your Own Business gives the boys confidence in their own abilities and competencies, which creates better conditions for completing an education or becoming part of the established labour market than would otherwise be the case,”.
Mind Your Own Business provides start-up capital, and each week the boys meet with a fixed team of volunteer venture pilots who support the boys in the development of the micro-business, where they decide things like company name, strategy, make logo, design website, set budgets and product developer.
Since 2010, Mind Your Own Business has helped 815 boys establish 95micro-enterprises on the MYOB Program and 170 boys further develop 22micro-enterprises on the MYOB Academy.
The idea behind Mind Your Own Business stems from the boys' own interest in and desire to get acquainted with entrepreneurship, as well as Maria Kavita Nielsen's belief that many boys need - and not least benefit from - alternative learning spaces.
“Our alternative learning spaces make a huge difference for young boys. Our results show this quite clearly, and I believe that we must aim more to inspire and excite young boys if we want to teach them professional as well as social skills,"
Boys in vulnerable housing are among the young people who most often drop out or never get a youth education. Therefore, MYOB tries to establish learning spaces that place as much emphasis on personal development as on professional development, because, as Maria points out, many of the boys mainly need success experiences that can give them confidence in their own abilities.
"Our departure point is the boys' abilities and competences, and we insist on meeting the boys with positive expectations and a clear framework. For some of the boys, a course can be an exercise in believing in their own abilities and discovering new personal strengths that they have not previously been aware of,” Maria explains.
She elaborates that the boys' horizons and perspectives expand during the course, and that they experience that there is also a place for them in our education system and in the labour market.
"It is absolutely crucial for us that the boys develop professionally and socially through our course. If they have financial success with their micro business, it is a nice side effect, but our first priority is undoubtedly that the boys acquire skills and knowledge that they can also use outside the Mind Your Own Business arena,” says Maria Kavita Nielsen.
“This has enormous value for the boys and for our society as a whole,” Maria declares.
A new season for Mind Your Own Business begun after the summer holidays. This season includes courses in Aarhus, Esbjerg, Vejen, Fredericia, København, Farum, Helsingør, Nivå and Nuuk in Greenland. If you are interested in becoming part of a microbusiness, you can read more at www.myob.dk.