Youth exhibition seeks to showcase young entrepreneurs’ ventures

Young Rwandan entrepreneurs can look forward to increased exposure of their goods and services following the launch of a youth exhibition to boost visibility.

Dubbed Kigali Youth Innovation Expo, the just-concluded two-day exhibition, held at Kiseki Authentic Japanese Restaurant, Kimihurura, over the weekend showcased a number of locally made products by Rwandan young entrepreneurs.

The expo was welcomed as a huge boost for the youth who have been struggling to get a suitable platform to showcase their innovations.

Esther Ruth Odhiambo, a Grade 12 student at Excella School and one of the expo organising team, said the platform is a huge opportunity for young entrepreneurs who were previusly not able to showcase their innovations to an open market.

She said that they view the special expo for youth as an upcoming platform through which youth can confidently showcase their creativity and products.

The exhibition was dominated by locally made products including inspirational books published by local young authors, shoes, toys made out of woods or wool fabrics, drums, artworks, carpets, frames, house decorations.

The exhibition also featured food items such as cakes baked from local food crops like pumpkins and potatoes among others.

“The idea around this expo came up as we were in class discussing innovations by the youth in Kigali. We decided to create a platform that can give young people a chance to showcase their products and figured that an expo is the best way to do it,” Odhiambo told The New Times

“From the very beginning I was a bit scared thinking people would not come but the response has been amazing. It is an avenue to exchange contacts and network which was our main goal. We believe the uniqueness of the products being exhibited at the expo can attract more people in the future,” she added.

Organisers are planning to make the youth expo an annual concept affair.

Some entrepreneurs who spoke to The New Times hailed the initiative describing it as a big motivation to the young innovators.

“The whole idea of a youth expo is promising but it can be improved in terms of marketing so it attracts more people. They should also make it clear that it is open to everyone to support young entrepreneurs,” said Jamar Mico, from Imagine We Rwanda, a social enterprise striving to promote reading culture in the country.