Makerere Entrepreneurship Students’ Club under “Solve the Equation East Africa (SEE) holds its first exhibition
• The Liquid Organic Fertilisers enterprise emerges best exhibitor
• Students urged to be innovative, hard working and to commercialise their ideas
• An ice cream project and students entrepreneurial training in the offing
The Makerere University Students’ Entrepreneurship Club under the Solve the Equation East Africa (SEE) has held its first innovators exhibition at the school of Agricultural Sciences.
The best exhibitor receives a prize from the Chief Guest and Club Patron.
The students’ enterprise on the production of Liquid Organic Fertilisers led by Owachgiu Job emerged as best exhibitor and was awarded a prize. The Liquid Organic Fertiliser is made from the composition of droppings of farm animals, fresh leguminous leaves harvested before flowering mixed with water. This fertilizer is applied to plants at their critical stages like at the beginning of flowering to supply Nitrogen, Potassium and Calcium. The advantage with this technology is that it is cheap to prepare, environmentally friendly and readily supplies nutrients to plants.
Students show some of the plants used in landscape designing.
The students exhibited various technologies including the Aesthetics of Horticulture in Sub-saharan Africa where they can provide a number of services such as aquaponic landscape designing, balcony beautification, real estate pathway design, hydroponic plants management, city roads management, tust management , farm designs and aeroponic plant management.
To the dairy farmers, the students have come up with the Urea Molasses Block with different ingredients from molasses a by product of sugar, maize brand, cotton seed cake, lime, urea, salt and cement. When given to a dairy animal to leak, it increases the milk yield by 5%.
Another group of students exhibited, demonstrated and explained the process of making local salt from banana peelings both in liquid and powdered form that can be used in animal feeds to add phosphorus and also used in cooking grains like beans to reduce the length of cooking by 50%. These helps to save the energy and preserve the environment.
Urea molasse block on display.
Exhibition goers were also treated to a drink of the Instant sorghum porridge whose aroma and taste has been enhanced by adding soya bean flour and caffeine. The Caffeine is a stimulant which prevents the consumer from dozing / sleeping after taking the porridge. The technology is being tasted at Kabanyolo on a low scale market. The product is branded in a unique packet and sold at eight thousand shillings only.
Instant value added sorghum porridge on display.
The other products made by students are the Sweet spok cookies with a unique taste and appearance that appeals to the consumer at the first glance. Show goers treated themselves to this snack at a cost of two thousand shillings.
Other value added products exhibited included natural honey without additives, sugar, preservatives and sweeteners. This can be used in tea as sugar, on bread like jam of blue band and helps in curing cough. Purely unsalted paste from Rosemary powder, Gnuts and Simsim was another enterprise on display. The Rosemary powder is an anti oxidant and contains vitamin Band A, improves eyesight, boosts immunity, memory and circulatory system, aids digestion among other benefits.
Students displaying a variety of value added products like cookies honey and gnut paste.
Also unique was the localised non- electric aquarium that can be used on limited space and homes to produce fish or used as beautifiers on the balcony and indoors.
Speaking on behalf of the Principal CAES as Chief Guest, Dr. Gabriel Elepu who is also Head Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics described the students’ innovations as amazing and an opportunity that never existed before. “It is a challenge of unemployment and you need to grow beyond that and start carrying your own cross why you went to school”, Dr. Elepu said.
Dr Gabriel Elepu speaking as Chief Guest on behalf of the Principal CAES.
Dr. Elepu said that the day’s exhibitions implied the beginning of enterprises. He outlined the characteristics of an entrepreneur as being innovative, hard working and being loners.
“From the perspective of an entrepreneur, you need to change the way you are making or distributing a product or service to create some uniqueness. Most entrepreneurs work alone until they get what we are using and it even involves being abandoned when facing challenges”.
He encouraged students to commercialise their ideas, products or services, have good business plans how to deliver the products and to be mindful of whom they choose to compete with.
“From today onwards, I want you to take your innovation to the next level to commercialise. Success in business begins with loving what you are doing. If you have the passion for your business you will prosper.” Dr. Elepu advised.
Student explains how the localised non electric aquarium works.
The Patron of the Student’s Entrepreneurship Club Prof. Felix Bareeba thanked the exhibitors for the sacrifice to make the exhibition a success. He said this first club exhibitions have reflected the students’ potential and the club’s bright future.
He said the aim of Solve the Equation East Africa (SEE) is to change the students’ mindset to be job makers and not job seekers. “If you have a project we can look for a mentor who is an experienced and successful entrepreneur”. He told students.
SEE Club Patron Prof Felix Bareeba speaking during the event.
He disclosed a number of activities in the pipeline including the establishment of an ice cream project which he said, an order had already been placed awaiting the delivery of the machine. The other plan according to Prof. Bareeba is to conduct entrepreneurship trainings for students. He said eight modules have already been developed to train about 15- 20 students for four days starting early June this year 2015.
The Makerere University Students’ Entrepreneurship Club was launched at the School of Agricultural Sciences on 7th March, 2015. The club is an initiative under the project, “Solve the Equation East Africa (SEE). 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.
The Students’ Entrepreneurship Club and SEE project activities at Makerere University are spearheaded by the project coordinator for East Africa Mr. Paul Serumaga who is also a lecturer at the University of Rwanda and Makerere Alumni of BSc. Food Science and Technology , 2001. The club Patron for Makerere University is Prof. Felix Bareeba from the department of Agricultural Production assisted by Dr. Peter Walekwa from the Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics.
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 countries are University of Rwanda, University of Nairobi, Muhimbili University and Makerere University.