African Leadership University

ALU celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week

ALU joined in the world wide celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) from 14-20 November, 2016 with a series of events organised by ALU’s Student Ventures Programme.

GEW is a yearly celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in 160 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors.

ALU started the week off with an open discussion on the entrepreneurial ecosystem at ALU. Students got to speak with Elizabeth Ellis, the manager of the Student Ventures Programme about how they can start businesses and bring their ideas to life.

They also attended “Starting from Scratch,” a panel organised by the US Embassy Mauritius and hosted by the Turbine, Mauritius’ leading business incubator on Tuesday. During the event, seasoned entrepreneurs in the field of communication, digital technology and logistics shared their entrepreneurial journey. Iyosiyas Mitiku, an ALU student asked what advice could be given to entrepreneurs looking for a co-founder. According to the panel, the criteria includes getting along well with the co-founder, having shared values, displaying a strong work ethic, owning complementary skills and, above all, displaying mutual trust and respect. Fiona Kiruja also an ALU student asked if startups should adopt a particular business model in order to be more successful. The general consensus from the panelists was that business models are very unique to each business and that their pros and cons should be weighed before committing to one of them.

On Saturday there will be drop-in coaching sessions with the Student Ventures Programme team to brainstorm ideas, validate some hypotheses or work on next steps to launch a project.

We will close off GEW with a screening of “Naija Beta,” a film about a team of MIT undergraduates who start a robotics camp for high schoolers in Nigeria on Sunday.

The Student Ventures Programme aims to offer students a combination of theoretical academic knowledge on entrepreneurship and building businesses, and practical, hands-on experience that likens itself to an incubation program with regards to launching their own venture. “The SVP is at the intersection of so many different things at ALU that it also acts as an overarching body connecting everything related to entrepreneurship on campus,” says Elizabeth Ellis.