Academies News and Blog Articles

Urban MBA – Street Entrepreneurs

This article shines the spotlight on one of our newer IOEE Academies, Urban MBA and Kofi Oppong, who founded Urban MBA. Urban MBA is a registered charity focusing on providing skills to the young people in their community. Its mission is to create a “world where no young person is lost or left behind” (UrbanMBA).

Founded off the back of Kofi’s experiences with education, culture and employment, UrbanMBA is firmly based in reality, with a personal approach to education. This centre uses metaphors linked to Kofi’s own interest in sports. They have a deep understanding of the world of business and commercialism as well as understanding the shift in effective methods of educating young people. Focusing on the lost generation of Gen Z, Urban MBA teaches about the importance of goal setting, big ideas and trends in business.

The lost generation is something I spoke to Kofi about in detail. This lost generation of Gen Z is a group of people who seem to be left behind. The world evolves and adapts but the education system has left a group behind. The lost generation may have a low level of ambition, a lack of skills or a lack of desire to progress. “ This is a typical symptom of ‘generations Y and Z’; the new generations frequently described as the ‘lost children” (UrbanMBA), but this is something UrbanMBA seeks to make a thing of the past. “Market research has led Urban MBA to believe that this issue comes from an existing education system that is not tailored anymore to the profile of the new generations and the digital world they live in.” (UrbanMBA).

In our interview, Kofi commented on his personal focus on performance. Finding ways to perform better, more efficiently and more effectively, Kofi explained how this approach could also be used as a focus for teaching, learning and business. The more I spoke with Kofi, the more I considered my own experience with the education system. Some forms of learning seem outdated, and the information seems to have expired. A change in business trends isn’t being discussed enough, education isn’t being presented in an accessible way and it’s having an impact on the lost generation. But UrbanMBA will not leave this group of learners behind.

Fitting into this generation myself, it can sometimes be frustrating to be taught about past trends or to focus on the short term. Kofi told me about the lack of long-term goals in this lost generation and we discussed the potential link to instant gratification, the world of social media and the life span of content. We live in a world focused on the present. All that matters is the moment of now. Commercially we buy what we want now, and think about the effects after. We post instant snapshots of our life to social media and tend to focus on what is happening around us in an easy-to-digest way. Kofi challenges this thinking and pushes for long-term goal setting, consideration for the future and ways to explore the unknown by projecting possibilities ahead of us.

Another big focus for UrbanMBA is Problem Solving. As one of the foundation blocks for entrepreneurship, problem-solving is a crucial skill to have in today’s world. Being able to attack problems head-on, rationalise issues and understand various viewpoints is important for any enterprising individual out there.

But why did UrbanMBA choose IOEE?

When we discussed the reasoning around choosing IOEE, Kofi seemed sure that this was a step in the right direction for his centre. Finding a company that can supply UrbanMBA with a seal of approval as well as the online platform and available learning content was something that Kofi seemed interested in. Being able to provide the online campus as well as additional learning content and centre support is something that sets IOEE apart from other providers. Having worked with another company in the past that may not have been the best match, when IOEE could offer the complete package, joining IOEE would be a strategic and beneficial decision.

After having a chat with Kofi about Urban MBA’s plans for the future, opportunities for education and ways to help the younger generations, all I can say is keep your eyes peeled as there are some very interesting ideas being discussed.

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