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Guided Missiles: Stakes of A Poised Dreamer

The past few weeks for some basic schools have been occasioned with career days with children dressed in professional apparels. Surely a sight to behold, but I wish to know what questions these children where asked before they were adorned in those “uniforms”. Were they asked what they dreamed of becoming as I missed out on seeing any kidpreneur?

I keep wondering what the fate is for graduates and graduands during this period that the academic year comes to an end with some learners desiring to fill limited spots by means of internship in firms and industries. If neither you nor your parents own a company for which reason you can be somewhat assured of what the future working lives of your children will be, then start thinking and act smart.

Cory Nieves, C.E.O of Mr Cory’s Cookies

In our quest to have our younger ones “dream big”, one has to identify what is within him or her and start thinking of how best to fine-tune these identified skills and attitudes instead of building a wall between protecting them and daring them to discover their dreams by learning from their own experiences. Watching Peter Schmeichel, father of Danish goalkeeper (Denmark) Kasper at the world cup thought me some lessons; he knows the game of football is a win or loose affair and that anything can happen. He could have stayed back and watch the match on Television but he chose to be present to support the son no matter the outcome.

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The World Economic Forum has predicted that the No. 1 skill needed to survive in the Fourth Industrial revolution that is evolving from the paradigm shift taking place worldwide is the ability to solve complex problems. An effective leader is one who develops coping strategies when trying to solve problems, a skill that can be harnessed from childhood so it is imperative to have our young ones up poised as innovative leaders capable of identifying problems, welcoming and solving problems in their early stage.

Let us have our younger ones well placed as ‘Poised Dreamers’, ready to take on the world through creativity and innovation- make this world a better place and make a positive impact. The question then should be “What problem(s) do you see that needs to be resolved?”

  • As parents, educators and guardians, help the children to identify, design and develop their passion into a viable business they own by adding value to themselves. Do not influence, take cognizance of emerging strengths and weaknesses and assure them of your support by giving them the freedom to thrive.
  • Failure is a long life learning component that children need to know how to accept, they should learn from it and move on in confidence with power. This gives one his or her self-worth as we are accountable for our lives, so it is important to make our decisions and experiences count.
  • Be ready and teach the children to follow their dreams even if it means defying anything and anyone. Get things done by yourself, don’t wait for others to do it for you.
  • Regardless of the situation, always believe and trust in the children and teach them about grit and failure by repeating practice till they gain mastery.
  • A child’s ability to clearly think and staying calm in the midst of ‘storm’, taking calculated steps are asserts that positions them for leadership. Acknowledging that this is a process means being patient and providing a step-by-step approach to problem-solving. Likened to a scientific method, teach them to formulate hypothesis, collect and analyze data, upon inference, build conclusions to ascertain acquired knowledge.
  • The scientific method according Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist, shapes the thinking skills children especially with the technological upsurge children have at their disposal to access, assess and authenticate their findings. Through this process, you can easily harness an entrepreneurial mindset into children and guide them in framing their lines of questioning.
  • Enhance communication with your children by asking how their day was, what they plan doing the next day and tell them of yours as well. Throw more light on the hurdles you have or had and how you have or intend to handle them. Do not hesitate to solicit their opinion on resolving these hurdles as this will shape their perception(s) of issues and see them as challenges and not ‘dead-ends’. Help boost their self-esteem and DO NOT shield them from problems by assuring them of the fact that they can have healthy relationships with conflict as they agree to disagree with their peers, siblings and other members of society, this improves their social skills.
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What does this mean for educators, curriculum developers and policy makers?

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Magdarlene Quartey Ayiku is the Head of Corporate Affairs at the Center for Impact Entrepreneurship and the Corporate and Training Manager at AAMG Business Solutions Limited. Her wealth of experience spans from being a research assistant, a child developer and mentor, project coordinator, field officer, insurance underwriting and administrative officer. She also works as an Educational Innovations Consultant and facilitates learning in some Higher Education Institutions in Ghana. Poised to “dare to dream and discover”, she is passionate about entrepreneurial growth and success, education and leadership. Magdarlene enjoys working with students and professionals to champion their dreams and embrace failure, risk and uncertainties as part of lifelong learning.

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Source Beauty is pushing the boundaries of Egyptian e-commerce

Egyptian e-commerce

Egyptian e-commerce: the county’s digital drive has not yet gotten to the growth typically seen in European countries and North America. However, as businesses have started shifting online, customers are now following suit, resulting in the gradual development of the digital eco-system.

Innovation, such as digital marketing, is reinventing the consumers’ path to purchase. The Egyptian e-commerce market is expected to grow at a rate of 33% annually to approximately $3bn by 2022, according to Oxford Business Group.

Source Beauty and disruption

The increase in e-commerce comes from rising internet penetration rates, driven by connected and digitally savvy millennials. Several platforms, both locally and internationally, such as the direct-to-consumer beauty platform Source Beauty, have disrupted the beauty industry in the region to drive their growth by truly connecting with their customers.

By being aware of the changing consumer behaviour trends in the e-commerce landscape, service providers like Source Beauty are continually fostering customer engagement with a community they have created. The customer service team, along with the editorial and marketing teams, respond to each comment and direct message, making customers feel listened to.

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Lydia Schoonderbeek, the founder and CEO of Source Beauty, said:

Egypt has traditionally been a price-driven market. After devaluation and high inflation rates, people have become much more price sensitive. People are consuming less and are shifting away from imported products due to price, accessibility and inconsistency in supply. As a result, they’re looking for local alternatives.”

Egyptian e-commerce
Founder of Source Beauty, Lydia Schoonderbeek

In line with its digital transformation and financial inclusion agenda, the Egyptian government has set in place directives to raise the limit for electronic payments for individuals via mobile phones to EGP30,000 (USD1,905) per day, and EGP100,000 (USD6,350) per month, since March 2020. Traditionally, 70% of online purchases were cash on delivery, which has proven to be a major challenge to e-commerce growth throughout the region. This preference has changed to credit card payments, increasing to 30% from 16% due to the spread of Covid-19, but it remains to be seen whether purchasing behaviors will be affected in the long term.

The CEO of Source Beauty further added that, the company had seen substantial growth thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with existing and new customers wanting to limit in-person beauty services and adhering to social distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Beauty customers, she says were changing spending habits, moving towards products that allow them to recreate the salon experience in their homes and protect them from the potential impact of an increasingly digital lifestyle. Finally, she believes they have seen customers prioritising skincare and haircare purchases over makeup.

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The question is, ‘Is anyone in Egypt going to buy beauty products online?’. Who thought people would buy books on the internet from a website called Amazon! Well, the answer seems to be YES. Consumer spending in Egypt on non-essential goods has reached EGP 3.90bn in 2020 and is set to reach 8.81bn in 2021, according to FitchSolution’s 2021 Report.

According to the Egyptian e-commerce beauty company, Source Beauty, it believes that the world is in an era where consumers are looking to associate with brands and not products, to make their beauty purchasing decisions and this is where homegrown brands like theirs will doubtlessly lead to economic growth in Egypt.

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