Varsity students supporting social changes receive awards; see full list
Africa’s working-age population is expected to balloon in the next few years, making job creation and enterprise development a top priority.
While the rise of entrepreneurs seems to be a step in the right direction, there is an acceptance that they need support with financing, markets, business skills, and mentorship.
The value of entrepreneurial optimism among the youth in Sub-Saharan Africa should be appreciated and supported by individuals and organizations in line with the SDG Goal 17 of partnerships to achieve the goals.
Partnerships such as the BIC East Africa and Enactus seek to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in education by challenging university students to present solutions to education-related issues.
Projects are evaluated on their overall concept, supporting market research, insight into consumer needs, and the possibility of execution. Under the BIC Education Challenge, BIC East
Africa and Enactus challenged a number of university students to come up with businesses ideas that will help alleviate social challenges, from health, education, the environment, women and youth empowerment.
Taita University students with the project titled Tunza Mazingira which aims to make ottoman poofs out of plastic bottles emerged as the winners of the Education Challenge 2022. Second place was Moi University with their Somesha Dada project aiming to raise interest in math and science for young mothers returning to school and in third place the team from Kabarak University with their Solar Powered Carbon Filter.
In addition to the monetary support, the winners will be mentored by BIC East Africa experts to prepare them for 20th Enactus National Competition. The final winners will then represent Kenya at the Enactus World Cup taking place in October 2022, competing against 37 Enactus affiliate countries.
“Our partnership with Enactus seeks to support young people to be creative and business-minded and to offer solutions that can bring a positive change to communities. We believe that by providing the right training for skills development, individual support such as coaching and mentorship, as well as financial support, our youth can have a place in the entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said General Manager at BIC East Africa, Michael Sinclair
“In its third year, this partnership has been a game-changer through the deliberate sensitization of university students to challenges that face girl children, women, and disadvantaged people at the same time. It at the same time benefits the targeted communities. This is a great initiative worth emulating”, stated James Shikwati, Enactus Kenya Country Director.
Other participating teams in the BIC Education Challenge this year included:
•Kenyatta University, addressing the problem of teenage pregnancy, with their proposed Girls Education Platform (GEP).
•Kabarak University, tackling the issue of global warming with a proposal for a Solar Powered Carbon Filter.
•Egerton University, presenting solutions for adopting an environmentally friendly approach to agriculture, with the Asili Eco-Therapy Project which aims to re-use BIC pen casings to make seedling beds and casings.
•Taita Taveta University, tackling an environmental challenge proposing to make ottoman poofs out of plastic bottles in their project dubbed Tunza Mazingira
•Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science & Technology, addressing the issue of rising school dropouts by teaching youth in Bondo region to grow cotton and mulberry.
•Moi University, aiming to solve disinterest in subjects such as Science and Mathematics among teenage mothers who return to school at upper primary and secondary school levels, through their Somesha Dada project.