ALU recently launched its Student Ventures Programme, a 10 week pilot programme comprising of 20 student participants interested in pursuing their passion for entrepreneurship. The programme works with students in teams of five to six, taking them from square one (no idea, no strategy) to an interesting, tested and scalable idea that they will present to a panel of professionals at the end of the programme. These student teams go through a process of ideation, prototyping, validating, and preparing to scale in weekly evening classes with programme coordinator, Helen Smith. In addition to these classes, students receive extensive support from experts in residence, guest speakers and mentors in various fields. Some of our experts include Andrew Smith of Yuppie Chef, Marcello Schermer from Seedstars as well as mentors across local and international businesses. Students will also have guest speakers coach them on pitching their ideas for the final showcase scheduled to take place in January 2017.
One of the exciting elements of this pilot programme is student ownership. Students work hand in hand with faculty to design and coordinate different elements of programme from project management to curriculum design. Arinze Obiezue, a student from Nigeria, works with faculty to design the programme’s curriculum.
“The student ventures programme is one of the most exciting ventures I have been involved in at ALU. I work with the team which designs the curriculum and so far, it has been very rewarding. My greatest satisfaction comes from watching my fellow classmates grow in their entrepreneurial journey. Being a part of the curriculum design team is even more exciting as it allows me the opportunity to explore the ins and outs of the process of designing curricula which I’ll need to do when for the School of Creative and Performing Arts that I am planning to set up back home in Nigeria in a couple of years. I really can’t wait until we launch the full-fledged student venture programme in January 2017.
On July 7, 2016, students presented the first draft of their project ideas to the team. Centered around entrepreneurship, the programme aims at creating a space for students to emphasize and practice learnings from one of our Leadership Core courses, Entrepreneurial Leadership. Part of their course is rooted in turning “problems” into opportunities. Some of the opportunities students hope to create include an online media hub to address language barriers that prevent cultural exchange across the continent, resource platform to unemployed youth in Africa with ample resources to become successful entrepreneurs and more. As the programme goes on students will refine their ideas and go through a series of sessions that will ultimately prepare them to present tested, scalable ideas in the final showcase.
The Student Ventures Programme will be available to all students in the ALU community in January 2017.