JNAP VENTURES IS PROVIDING THE ULTIMATE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCE

I am Kaata Minah. I am a mother that’s married to an affectionate and supportive husband, Jeffrey N.A Peters . We are blessed with an adorable little daughter Julline. Being a mother has been a great blessing and it made me think of my own childhood.

 These nostalgic thoughts gave birth to my brand: JNAP Ventures. We provide extra-curricular activities for children between the ages of three to sixteen. I believe it is essential for children to be hands-on with extra-curricular activities because it has a positive impact on their growth and development. It enhances their physical, cognitive and psychological development.

Growing up I was an outdoorsy and interactive person. My parents always made sure my siblings and I were involved in a whole lot of activities like swimming, playing tennis, golf and football and rollerblading among other things. I was also an active member of the debate club, the press club and the conflict management group.

 I wanted a wholesome childhood experience for my daughter. I wanted to get her involved in other activities aside from watching television. However, I realised that Sierra Leone had limited options for extra curricular activities and most schools only catered to the academic aspects of child – nurturing. So I started JNAP Ventures.

 THE ULTIMATE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCE

As our motto says “Building an exciting brighter World”, we believe in creating fun ways to not only entertain but also educate. At JNAP Ventures we provide services and activities in professional skills training, exploration of childrens’ interests, time management among others. This helps to enhance the physical, cognitive and psychosocial development of our children and this translates into making a child social, boosting their academic achievement and developing their self-esteem and self-concept.

At the heart of the company is local content, we understand the strains of being a small business and so we try to optimise our products and services by focusing on the local environment. As a budding company, we try our best to give back to the community by employing locals and sourcing our tools and products locally.

THE JOURNEY

 Being a mother to Julz made me think of all the things to do to keep her occupied besides television. It also got me thinking of my childhood and how I could create something similar for her. So I read a lot. Research is one of my strongest skills. I spent a lot of time researching on my ideas and asking for help from friends and mentors who happen to be experts in their fields. I reached out to Ariana Oluwole to help me structure my thoughts and come up with a plan. She was also instrumental in helping me train the first caregivers in our first Extra Academic Activities (EAA).

Most of the success and headway I have had is as a result of the help and advice from friends and family alike. My husband and friends, Esther and Davephine are engineers so they have been very resourceful with all things science related. Ebun, another friend who is a lawyer also gives me free legal services when I need it. My sister is great with finance and business development so she helps me with that. I pick my parents brains on ideas and they support me constantly in everything I do.

Moiyattu Banya, a friend, recommended me for a one-year fellowship with the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) – a leadership and business management capacity-building program where I learnt how to structure my organisation.

HIGHS AND LOWS

Starting and running a business is not all rosy. I have had moments where I have been overwhelmed with it all. But thankfully I have learnt to trust the process. I remember in 2016 when we hosted our first ever Holiday Extra Academic Activities(EAA), we had about twenty kids. This wasn’t a disappointing start because we were new to the industry, fast forward to 2019 holiday EAA, we had close to fifty students. To us this meant a lot, it showed that trust with parents had grown and that the kids enjoy our services.

Usually this industry is ruled by older women with a lot of experience. I have been blessed to have people who entrust their children to JNAP. It is mostly as a result of the open-minded people that I have around me – my mentors and friends who have guided me along the way and helped me  focus on my goal.

LESSONS

I have learnt that no matter how great your idea is, if the timing and the planning  is not structured properly, It will not work. It takes more than just a great idea to be successful. I learnt this the hard way after we had to shut down an after-school programme because certain factors such as location and wrong timing caused the program to run at a loss.

 Also pushing beyond the limit is key do not be satisfied with being the best but strive to be better than your best. Right now JNAP Ventures is working on constantly improving its services. Currently we provide swimming lessons, interactive holiday activities, historic sightseeing excursions and an annual games day festival. We will continue introducing more activities to our programs  and as we say we continue “ Building an Exciting Brighter World”.

Finally, with the blessings of God, smart work and good collaboration you are well on your way to success.

Written by: arianadiaries

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