Njeri Richardson-Carty who started up Branches of Learning Inc., an innovative educational company in her native Anguilla, has just begun her Erasmus for Entrepreneurs (EYE) mentorship at the Council for Creative Education (CCE) in Tampere, Finland.
Njeri is one of several of applicants from the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) to be recently accepted by the European Union funded Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme which provides the opportunity to develop innovative business skills in another country.
Open to those with three or less years in business, it places nationals from OCTs with an experienced business mentor for between 1-6 months. The host must be either in an EU state other than the applicant’s mother country, or in other various participating countries. A bursary of €1,100 per month includes a return flight and accommodation although OCT applicants are advised that may have to find additional funding to meet living expenses during their EYE mentorship.
In addition to a list of 27 Member States, applicants can select a host company in the following list of countries: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia, Singapore, Turkey, and Ukraine, the United States.
Njeri is settling in at the CCE: ‘Thus far all has been great. I’ve been researching and preparing in the capacity of training coordinator support for my first Finnish/Creative Education Tour with a group of Nigerian Educators, allowing me to visit and observe in Finnish Schools as well as present my expertise in the area of special education.”
CCE’s motto is, “redefining education through creativity”. The organisation provides tailormade teacher training and school development programs from pre-primary to higher education.
“My ambitions for Branches Of Learning Inc. is be the premier model education institution in the region providing creative and innovative education solutions for K-12 students, teachers and parents. We will provide innovative education programming that will create learning environments that develop children, teachers and parents to be effective communicators, competent problem solvers, self-directed learners, responsible citizens and quality producers as they prepare to meet the dynamic needs of an exponentially changing landscape of education,” says Njeri.
Njeri says that she found it challenging to find mentorship locally and regionally to allow her to get hands on experience in the field of creative education: “This opportunity provides an international opportunity for mentorship with not just one person; but an organisation with creative and innovative minds in education research and in Finland, a country that is known for its phenomenal education system.”
“Finland is known to be one of the best places in the world in regards to education, education transformation/reform over the past 40 years, showing record progress towards creative and innovative learning opportunities for children, which is a pillar of the Branches Of Learning mission and vision towards adding value to education through innovative education solutions in our student programming, teacher leader training and parent/community advocacy,” she adds.
“The EYE programme provides a win-win collaboration where both the host entrepreneur and myself are able to develop personal learning goals and objectives to meet needs and learning potential for our businesses and help us to do business in different innovative ways by opening ourselves to the expertise and perspectives of each other. In the long-term, the wide networking opportunities could lead to long-term business partnerships, joint ventures and so much more, creating impact world-wide in regards to creative education,” she says.
“Naturally, networking will be a benefit from the experience. The fact that the Council for Creative Education (CCE) is an international company with global connections that will allow me to network with persons with similar interest in creative education across the world as the research field grows.”
“I hope that this experience will allow to develop all sectors of Branches Of Learning Inc. and the development of our multi-purpose center which will develop an early years academy in the future built on many principles of the Finnish system but with cultural relevance to Anguilla and the Caribbean region becoming model institution and offering after school programme options. In the long-term, I hope to collaborate and consult locally and regionally with the Council for Creative Education in supporting their reach into this targeted area of the world to expose more education professionals to the research and practice of creative education,” says Njeri
For more information about how to apply to the EYE programme, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and/or see: https://www.erasmus-entrepreneurs.eu
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