“You can do anything if you put your mind to it”
I know this inspirational quote too well and have probably heard it more than a dozen times growing up. Even as an adult it still helps me to overcome the obstacles that life throws my way. Perhaps, I tend to mimic or pass on my wise words because I swear I heard myself telling my three young girls a similar saying along the lines of “through passion and determination you will achieve greatness.” I wasn’t sure how my daughters or other children living in a digital world were suppose to achieve this so called “greatness” if they were not given the proper tools…
It’s only been a little less than 5 years since I, alongside my co-founders, launched the kids coding program, Code Camp. Initially, we wanted to put forth extracurricular activities that would enhance children and youths’ digital capabilities. Little did we know that this would turn into a multi million business.
It’s been an exciting journey so far as we have taught over 45,000 kids to code at schools across Australia. This has been possible thanks to the help from our creative software, Code Camp World, that we developed in 2016.
It’s safe to say that the hard work has really paid off over the last few years. It was an amazing experience to be a part of the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards in August, let alone winning the overall Mumpreneur of the Year title. On the back of which we also won the Optus My Business Award and came out as #3 Smart Company top 100. My personal goal was to share the fantastic social and educational benefits of the Code Camp program, countrywide recognition on the big stage certainly helped that.
As co-founder, COO and head of operations at Code Camp, I want to give children, especially girls, an equal opportunity to explore the digital world. It is said that 70% of jobs in the future will be tech-related. This is why it is important to make coding programs available not only for boys but for girls too. Encouraging children and youth to participate in coding programs has been so rewarding not only for our team of over 1000 passionate teachers but also for the thousands of children and youth who, without realising, are accumulating extremely relevant job market skills.
According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of children entering elementary school by the time they enter the workforce they will be doing a job that doesn’t yet exist. One thing is certain, more and more employment in the near future will involve digital design skills and providing extracurricular activities such as Code Camp is a step in the right direction.
This year we have been focussing on how to reach more students and a decision was made to expand internationally as we are now aiming to reach 200,000 school-aged children by 2020. Code Camp’s extracurricular learning activities and holiday programs are available right across Australia as well as the USA, the UK and even in Switzerland.
I believe the future is bright, colorful and yes, it will be digital.
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Erik Bigalk is a Business Solutionist, serial entrepreneur, an internationally published writer and keynote speaker, quantum coach and founder/CEO of Smart Solutions, a brand communications firm based in Melbourne Australia.