HUYE - The Rwanda Convention Association (RCA), last Friday launched a seven week e-entrepreneurship course programme at the National University of Rwanda (NUR).
The course that will be offered through video conferencing by RCA’s partners, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) of Binghamton University and Process Learning Centre (PLC), will focus on the opportunity-model in entrepreneurship, business plan writing, leadership, and management.
Mutoni Karasanyi, the Education Director of RCA, said that upon completion of the seven week course, the winning business plan will receive a micro-loan from RCA and SIFE to start a business.
“Students with the best business plans will be assisted with some small funding to ensure that their business ideas take off,” Mutoni said.
“The program seeks to enable students develop their entrepreneurship skills so that they can be able to start their own businesses in the future.”
According to Professor Rama Rao, the Dean of the Faculty of Management and Economics, the inaugural class of 20 students was selected after undergoing a competitive selection process.
“Interested students were asked to propose ten business ideas and then elaborate on one of the ideas. Out of the 62, who sat for the exam only 20 passed to undertake this course,” Prof. Rama said. “We are optimistic that we will have great business plans after this training program.”
He added that the video conferencing entrepreneurship program will complement efforts to start a certificate program in entrepreneurship at the university.
“We are taking this as a pilot project, we will apply it to the rest of the university if it succeeds,” Rama said. “Entrepreneurship is a must and not an option if we are to turn Rwanda into an entrepreneur economy.”
Professor Martin O’Hara, the University vice Rector in charge of academics labelled the video conferencing program ‘cost effective’ and ‘transformational.’
“Video conferencing never takes away the importance of personal contact, such technology creates a genuine interaction between students and lecturers,” he said.
Students who talked to The New Times were upbeat about the course, “When the President visited the university last year, he advised us to be job creators and not job seekers.this is an opportunity to heed this call,” said Faustin Sibomana, an Economics student who was selected to participate in the program.
“Education is the backbone of development and we are very pleased that the transfer of knowledge with the current project in NUR will promote entrepreneurship and leadership,” Urusaro Bakuramutsa, RCA president said.
“As we move toward a more prosperous Rwanda, it’s important that we empower the upcoming workforce and develop new skills that will aid in competitive networking in the economic region and the world.”
Rwanda Convention Association is a US based private initiative that started in 2004 as a not for profit organisation that is dedicating in the promotion of four sectors of development in Rwanda; education sector, private sector, Information and Technology, and media development.
RCA facilitates and organises an annual convention that brings together Rwandan communities in the Diaspora and Rwanda’s friends living abroad. The 2010 convention is set to take place May 28-31 in Boston, US.