At the end of June, Bantani is saying goodbye to co-founder and Head of Operations Rebecca Weicht. Since its creation in 2016 Bantani has worked tirelessly to create opportunities for young people to have access to the right entrepreneurial skills to help them achieve their potential, and Rebecca has been fundamental in achieving this.
To celebrate her time with Bantani, we recently had a chat to discuss her experiences and inspiration.
Who inspires you to be entrepreneurial?
For me, I’m not sure this is a question of who but rather what. I’ve learnt that I’m driven by a rather strong sense of innate curiosity. As geeky as it sounds, I love learning. So entrepreneurial traits such as curiosity, going out doing things, saying yes to opportunities, and seeing these traits everywhere is maybe what makes me entrepreneurial. Now, I feel like I’m going down a road where I explore more in one particular area – something I learnt I’m interested in and excited by.
Which Bantani project has been the most rewarding for you?
I’ve enjoyed several aspects of the work we have done – for one, I enjoyed learning about new things such as starting with learning and thinking about assessment approaches with EntreAssess, one of the first projects we did. But I also enjoyed the science-for-policy work we’ve been doing for the European Commission, writing the EntreComp into Action guide, or the EntreComp at Work report.
And it was great working with educators – highlighting some of their ideas through communicating them widely via the various communities we built like the EntreCompEdu blog, highlighting the success story that is the CRADLE teaching methodology by simply letting teachers talk about how they experienced piloting the approach and kids telling us how enjoyable they found working in ‘CRADLE classes’ as they call them.
What advice do you have for young people looking to become more entrepreneurial?
I’m not sure if that counts as advice but I think being curious, open to opportunities, engaged, maybe also prepared, is paramount. You’ll be able to lead the life you want to by taking action and not just having others make decisions for you. This probably requires a certain amount of fearlessness – or adventurousness in the face of uncertainty! So that’s a skill that young people probably want to engage with, but for me that’s what I learnt as core. Be entrepreneurial, make our own opportunities!
If you want to put it that way: perhaps it is my contribution to making the world a better place
What is the story behind Bantani?
Both Elin and I are driven by a – probably pretty strong – sense of social justice. An organisation focussed on supporting and driving engagement with entrepreneurial learning for anyone is, about enabling others and providing opportunities. It’s about equity and chances. It’s about giving people a hand to help them succeed at whatever it is they want to succeed in. Providing them with tools. If you want to put it that way: perhaps it is my contribution to making the world a better place.
What upcoming project would you like to share with us?
My moving forward, I’m not giving up on that drive that we started with and have been nurturing over the years – the organisation is in a great place to continue the work Elin and I started. I merely am moving into working towards equity and opportunities in other ways now.
I’m not quite sure what comes next outside of the set road that is doing my PhD research in entrepreneurship and social policy. But I like a little diversity, so I’m definitely open to opportunities.
Rebecca will be missed by the whole Bantani team and our partners, we wish her well on her way to completing her PhD with Manchester Metropolitan University and continued professional challenges.