KU’s innovation hub will produce job creators, not seekers

Kenyatta University (KU) through its business incubation hub, the Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre (CBIIC), seeks to change students’ perception from that of being job seekers to job creators, a college official said yesterday.

Speaking during the Business And Innovation Promotion Among Students forum held at KU yesterday, CBIIC’s director Prof Wanderi Mwangi said the hub was launched in 2011 to mentor students into creating jobs rather than waiting to be employed.

Prof Wanderi hopes that the venture would be achieved through innovative entrepreneurship ideas in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030’s Medium Term Plan 2008 to 2012 targeted at “Economic Recovery strategy for wealth and employment creation.’’

He said: “This is a concept that has been established courtesy of borrowing ideas from other world class universities, based on Vision 2030 to actively take part in the job creation for economic progress.”

He further revealed that CBIIC has already admitted 40 students and managed to establish 23 businesses.

If public and private firms can come together and develop a good model for creating jobs then the level of unemployment in the nation would drastically reduce, noted Prof Wanderi. Last year,Kenya’s unemployment rate was the highest ever at 40 percent, having risen from a low of 12.7 percent in 2006.

He said that the university has already established Students Training on Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP), which currently has up to 200 students who have already identified businesses and granted KSh8,500 (about US$100) as startup capital in groups of five.
STEP also offers a 3-month mentorship from CBIIC officials.

Prof Wanderi hailed the university’s management, Royal Media, the Chandaria Foundation, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM – UNESCO), Leuphana University Germany, the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Fund, Global Kenya and Orange Kenya for supporting the business hub.

The CBIIC project was launched last year to nurture business ideas aimed at helping fourth year students in university to establish businesses thus creating employment for themselves and others.

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