Learning entrepreneurial skills promotes innovation, teamwork, and creativity. The combination of these traits add weight to a student’s professional path and are highly recognized by prestigious universities. But most importantly, they help in creating jobs and to fight the perception of “white collar job seeking.”
To extend these skills to the young generation, the government and social entrepreneurship trainers have partnered to conduct a one-day training session dubbed “impact of leadership in entrepreneurship” with the goal to sway future graduates to be business startups by being creative in solving social-economic challenges while also making money.
The session was part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) that convened entrepreneurship trainers from various countries, entrepreneurs, and university students under the theme “Unleashing a Collaborative Ecosystem.”
“It’s about ready to think out of the box. We believe in the principle of learning by doing. Students were active and participating in the training. They are ready to think and do. Everyone can be a winner as an entrepreneur, but it requires thinking uniquely in your areas of work and community,” Caroline Mathieu, an Entrepreneurship trainer and Co-founder of Intego Academy said.
“We have different experiences. So, we share methodologies and processes in creating businesses. The most important thing to share here is Innovation, creativity and leadership. The combination of these makes someone a good entrepreneur, and ready to create,”
The session aimed at strengthening the creation of a collaborative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Rwanda.
It also targeted fighting unemployment rates, nurturing and empowering a generation of value-driven entrepreneurs who are creating homegrown solutions, and impacting their communities and Africa at large.
Additionally, these trainings fit in the governments’ targets to create 1.5 million off-farm jobs by 2024. The government targets unemployment rates among educated Rwandans becoming alarming.
“The best idea is having an entrepreneurship mindset because you cannot guarantee getting a job upon graduation. It also creates economic independence. As students, I think we should change the way we look at the economy,” Patrick Nsenga, a student at University of Kigali said.
Available figures from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) pilot survey indicate that unemployment levels are higher among educated Rwandans.
Unemployment among Rwandans who completed the upper secondary is the highest at 23%, followed by unemployment among graduates of tertiary education at 18%.
“There are important skills, creating businesses in what we are studying. To look around and think what we can bring on the market, it can be new, or existing but unique,” Sandrine Ingabire, a civil construction student at the University of Rwanda said.
“These days, the difference to make in the market is innovation and it requires thinking big. But, consultation from the experts and more training. We cannot do things as they were done five decades ago, we must change the mindset by being innovative,” she added.
On the other hand, the rate of unemployment among the uneducated is 10% – the lowest.
In the same sense of fighting unemployment rates in the country, the Rwandan government has a target of encouraging students to join Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) at the rate of 60% from 50% this year.
Dyna Ishimwe, Operational Manager at Bee Light Limited said that such training helps students to become financially independent.
“Rwanda has one of the most dynamic economies in Africa and is experiencing rapid economic expansion. But the nation faces obstacles that hybrid entrepreneurship could help it overcome,” she added.
This year, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is making its first trip back to Rwanda since 2018. It is a four day event, running from November 14-20.
More than 10 million people have taken part in ten years’ worth of Global Entrepreneurship Week events across 180 nations.
“Rwanda is one of the best places to do business and an attractive destination for entrepreneurs. Global Entrepreneurship Week offers the chance to reflect on how to support entrepreneurs in granting guarantees, linking them to the regional and continental market and create a vibrant and collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Richard Niwenshuti, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry told the media.