The school system is often seen as the only way to have a good job and a successful life. Indeed, it can give access to high positions in the private sector. But while the focus is put on theoritical learning, practice is often disregarded even though it has been proven that the level of engagement of the student stays higher when exercising his skills, which eases to learning process. The traditional school system now includes internships, but the occasions in which one gets to learn by doing are still few.
A boardgame as a game changer
Trinidadian entrepreneur Roger Moore believes he has found an efficient solution to improve one’s ability to gain professional skills, one that school does not have. As a matter of fact,with his solution, he has been changing lives and making more and more problem solvers, or as you may call them, entrepreneurs. And that is thanks to one game.
It all started when Roger was addicted to this internet café where he used to spend his entire days playing network games. He found it a pity that he could not be as focused when he was studying as when he was playing these games.
“If only these games thought me about my classes, I would be a genius!” would he think to himself.
Not long after that, Roger got to read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. This set of parables on different attitudes towards money inspired Roger a lot. But he was completely thrilled to find out that Kiyosaki had done a boardgame that demonstrated through simulation what Rich Dad Poor Dad was about ! The name of the game was Cashflow 101, a board game that “simulates real life financial strategies and situations” according to the manufacturer’s description.
Roger and his friend bought a Cashflow 101 game and from December 2004, they started a Cashflow Club They realized that playing this boardgame was teaching them way more than what they could learn at their business school about investment or financing for instance. Eventually, more and more people found out about the club and joined.
From a game to a business
In 2008, Roger’s mother was blown away by the dynamics and the large crowds of the Cashflow Club sessions and suggested to charge the participants. At this time, Roger was working at an insurance company and the Cashflow Club was still a hobby. Roger’s mother joined the adventure and they put in place an event called “I invest”.
Meanwhile, The Rich Dad Company contacted them so that they can make Roger’s club an official Cashflow Club. From then on, they were authorised to use the brand and it became a company. They are currently one of the largest Cashflow Clubs, with over 1000 members. Some are successful businessmen, investors, financial experts, others are starting entrepreneurs, but they all agree that these Cashflow sessions are a game changer.
Why does it have such a big success?
The Cashflow Club T&T offers programs of different terms, from half-day workshops to ten-week courses. Every friday night, from 6 to 9, you can take part in the games, whether you’re a regular player or a new comer (they make it easy to join).
But once you get in, you might not want to ever get out: it is very addictive because it’s fun! The game works as simulations to real situations of investment and other challenges of business life.
Roger sees the club as a business school that uses gamification of education: “The difference we make with education is that we make learning fun, the level of engagement remains high” says Roger.
Who is the in the team ?
Roger and his mother own the company while other volunteers take part in hosting the events.
How do they finance their business?
The Cashflow course (ten sessions) is charged but they are at a very affordable price compared to other seminars. What really allows this business to work is that they sell workshops to companies and schools. These workshops can last half a day, two days or more, depending on the needs of the client.
What now ?
Currently, Roger’s aim is not to run Cashflow Clubs all over Trinidad: he sees himself more as a social entrepreneur and wants to encourage people to start their own Cashflow Clubs. For him, there should be Cashflow Clubs everywhere. In fact, he has been discussing with the media to broadcast a program based on Cashflow.