Kenyatta University to create entrepreneurs, not jobseekers

Kenyatta University to create entrepreneurs, not jobseekers

A student at the Kenyatta University. CC image courtesy of Swathi Sridharan.

Kenyatta University (KU) has launched its Innovation and Incubation Centre, aiming to give Kenyans an opportunity to transform their dreams into business enterprises.

The university’s plan is to nurture innovative ideas among ordinary citizens where 30 per cent of the intake will be dedicated to them, while 70 per cent will benefit students at Kenyatta University.

Speaking during the launch, the university’s vice-chancellor Olive Mugenda said the centre will be a major shift as it will be focusing on preparing graduates to take up roles in entrepreneurship rather than job seekers.

“The exposure available at the centre gives incubatees a reality check which prevents them from making the most basic mistakes and also ensures there are chances of survival as entrepreneurs grow significantly,” Mugenda said.

“Universities today should be at the forefront of bringing up job creators and not jobseekers.”

The Incubation Centre is a multi-million shilling learning facility, built with grants from the Manu Chandaria Foundation, with an annual intake projected at 25 students, but which could be raised depending on demand.

Mugenda added: “There is empirical evidence that countries that have consistently reported above average innovations, have consistently reported high GDP growth rates.

“This has happened because universities, corporate organisations and other institutions in these countries, have taken innovation and incubation with the seriousness it deserves.”

The centre will foster regular interaction between the students, a team of experts and mentors from Kenyatta University and leading industrialists in East Africa, who will chart out commercialisation of the products.

Jacob Kaimenyi, cabinet secretary for education, science and technology, officially opened the centre and challenged the youth to seize the opportunity and learn how to become entrepreneurs from their innovations.

“I will talk to the Land Ministry to also see how we can even get more land and set up industrial parks where students who mature in these kinds of centres can commercialize their innovative and entrepreneurial ideas,” Kaimenyi said.

According to the institutions website: “Innovators shall be provided with the necessary assistance including space, telephone services, internet, fax, stationery, administrative support, professional guidance and mentorship for a period of 12 months.

“However, every business at the Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre will be continuously vetted after every one (1) month to assess its progress and / or weakness for remedy where necessary.”

Posted in: Startups

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