In the week of the 12th of November, our campuses in Rwanda and Mauritius celebrated the Global Entrepreneurship Week with a series of events to encourage women entrepreneurship and to support our entrepreneurial leaders who are at every stage of the innovation process.
The ALU community celebrated the global entrepreneurship week (GEW) by launching the second edition of GEW in ALU Rwanda and the first celebration in ALU Mauritius, both organized by the Student Ventures Programme (SVP). The themes explored in this year’s GEW this was women in entrepreneurship geared towards celebrating the achievement of women in entrepreneurship and to support more women to get into entrepreneurship as well as supporting all entrepreneurs at every stage of their innovation process for local impact.
In ALU Rwanda, the three-day event had exciting activities that engaged a huge part of the ALU community including a gallery walk that displayed women entrepreneurs over the past two decades. The gallery walk, organized by some students, showcased some of the unconventional approaches to entrepreneurship such as lifestyle blogs and social media influencers. The career development team came in with a powerful session on the importance of networking and how to practice the art of effective networking. This was the foundation for the next sessions which included panel discussions, interviews, and networking sessions with some of the vibrant business personalities in Kigali. Among the guest speakers were Michaella Rugwizangoga, CEO of Volkswagen Rwanda and Lionel Mpfizi, CEO of Awsomety Lab. The Student Ventures Programme (SVP) also organized a pitching contest where different teams had an opportunity to grow their pitching skills and share their time to pitch their innovative solutions with the community and a panel of established entrepreneurs from Rwanda and within the ALU community.
At ALC Mauritius, the week-long event involved a prototyping workshop, an impact lab event exhibition, a story-telling panel, a pitch-off and a crowdfunding pitch dinner event called the SOUP. The week started with a workshop titled Prototyping 101 facilitated by an ALC faculty member, Mr. Fhazhil. The event was aimed at supporting students in the ideation phase: those who have an idea but haven’t yet developed a plan or taken the next steps to prototype it. It was meant to help them have a clear plan for their innovative ideas. On the second day of the event, the social sciences department organised an NGO impact lab fair, inviting organizations to tell their stories and present their work to students who may be interested in learning more about local social impact work in Mauritius and how to identify future opportunities where they can engage. That afternoon featured a panel discussion with four female founders within and beyond the ALC community about their entrepreneurial journeys and what it takes to build a startup. Panelists included Coralie Marti of Gemstone Training, Romina Soberanes of Mauritius Conscious Travel, and ALC students Angela Lumneh of Opportunity Space and Rukudzo Nyoka of Mtabe App. On Thursday, at the beginning of Assembly, students and staff had the opportunity to perform a rapidfire pitch-off of their idea under 60 seconds with the chance to win a cash prize at the end of Assembly. The week ended with ALC’s first ever SOUP competition: a crowdfunded dinner celebration of creative ideas within the ALC community. Congrats to students Trevor Oisebe of Year 1 and Kevine Mizero of Year 3 for putting themselves out there and on their winning pitches. We are excited to see where you take these ideas!
The above events on both of our campuses clearly align with our vision of creating future entrepreneurial leaders who would be responsible for creating the jobs needed by people on the continent in the next few years. Events like the GEW brings us together, allows us to celebrate our ideas, and motivates us to keep going regardless of challenges on our journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur in future in order to impact our respective communities.