MAK SEE project Conducts Third Students’ Training on Entrepreneurial skills
Trainees, evaluators and the PI pose for a group photograph after the training
- UK-based consultants fly in the country to assess the program success for implementation in other universities
- Trainees get certificates of Attendance
Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has conducted the third students’entrepreneurship skills training under the “Solve the Equation East Africa (SEE)” Project.
The training dubbed, “Applied Entrepreneurship and Practical Business Management”, was conducted at the School of Agricultural Sciences on 21st -23rd February, 2017.
The students were equipped with knowledge and skills in different aspects including Introduction to Entrepreneurship Business Plan Writing and Resource Mobilization; Establishment of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Value Chain Analysis, Strategic Marketing and Customer service. Other aspects of the training were Business Management, Economic Policy and Trade Instruments.
Trainees doing a test before award of certificates
UK-based consultants Joyce Achampong and Emma Falk working for the project funders-MasterCard Foundation flew into the country on 3rd March, 2017 to assess the impact of the training for past three years.
The Executive Director, Pivot Global Education Consulting Group Joyce Achampong said they were part of the Youth Economic Participation and Empowerment Program at Texas University contracted to evaluate the three year MasterCard Foundation programs.
“It is very important for the youth to have this kind of training because what is studied in academia is theoretical and therefore entrepreneurship skills training enhance the students’ understanding to exercise creativity and to use knowledge and skills to find work for themselves andfor others.” She said
Evaluators Emma Falk, Joyce Achampong and Prof. Bareeba before the certificate award ceremony
Achampong said the students were evaluated why they enrolled in the training program to get a better sense of how they enjoyed the program and see if the program was beneficial for recommendation and implementation in other universities.
The students were tasked to explain what motivated them to join the program, what skills they had gained and how they were applying the acquired skills in their day - today lives.
Over 20 students undertaking agricultural and related courses were later given certificates of Attendance on satisfactory performance in the assessment.
One of the trainees receiving the certificate of attendance
Makerere University Principal Investigator (PI) Prof. Felix Bareeba said that the consultants also wanted to evaluate the program success not only for implementation in other universities but also assess the viability of the program for further funding and collaboration.
“The program has been running for the past three years and the consultants are here to make a recommendation whether Makerere University can get more funding”, The Professor said.
Prof. Bareeba also said that besides evaluating the students, the consultants were schedule to meet the program Alumni who undertook the short courses and those who have not attended any entrepreneurship course”, He said.
The trainees displaying their certificates after the award ceremony
The consultants according to the PI also held a meeting with course instructors. The course instructors include Prof. Bareeba, Dr. Peter Walekhwa, Dr. William Ekere, Ms. Elizabeth Balirwa and Dr. Allan Komakech from the Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics and other college units.
The Makerere University Students’ Entrepreneurship Club was on 7th March, 2015 launched at the School of Agricultural Sciences. The club is an initiative SEE project.
SEE is a collaborative project within the member universities in East Africa trying to change the mindset of University graduates from thinking about job seeking to job creation by imparting several skills including entrepreneurship.
Basing on the success projects in Rwanda, SEE philosophy of change is to conduct training for innovation entrepreneurship, supporting business skills, pilot innovative ideas, commercialise successive piloted ideas and follow up teams in the field.
The launch of the Makerere University Students’ Entrepreneurship Club and SEE project activities was spearheaded by the Project Coordinator for East Africa Mr. Paul Serumaga who is also a lecturer at the University of Rwanda. Mr. Serumaga is also a college Alumni who graduated with a BSc. Food Science and Technology in 2001. He is being assisted by Makerere University SEE project Co-ordinators Prof. Felix Bareeba.
The project is being implemented in four countries of Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with plans to extend to Ethiopia, South Sudan and Burundi. The participating universities in the four East African countries are the University of Rwanda, University of Nairobi, Muhimbiri University and Makerere University.
The major project funder is Master Card in the United States. The preliminary stage of the project (2014-2016) had a budget of $ 350, 000 and $ 21,000,000 for the next eight years for follow up activities.
The project structure involves a training component, curriculum development and linkages with banks to give start up loans to students. Other activities include mentoring activities which are paid for by the project for all students who would have started a business and outreach programs to different people within their localities who would have already started businesses.
Under this project, CAES Students are to be trained and supported to commercialise ideas and linked to banks to get loans. The students’ Club acquired an assortment of equipment for ice cream making, computers and TV screens to show successful entrepreneurs.
Article Compiled by:
Communication Officer, CAES.