This weekend Educat conducted its second ‘REAL Entrepreneurial Mindset Training’ for university students here in Kigali.
Over three days 21 students went through the training challenging them to think out of the box, be entrepreneurial and take action.
The training program – with its mix of theory and practice - pushes the students into a better understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur.
REAL stand for Rwandan Entrepreneurs and Leaders. The purpose of the REAL entrepreneurial mindset training is to promote a stronger entrepreneurial culture among Rwandan’s youth.
To empower youth to go out and make a positive impact on society by starting their own businesses or organisations.
“If they want to make poverty history, it is essential that Rwanda’s youth take an active part in the development of the country.
Many young Rwandans are eager to establish themselves as entrepreneurs, and therefore Educat sees a big potential in them,” says Dennis Dybdal, Educat’s Program Director.
“At the universities the students get a lot of important knowledge on how to create businesses, but they don’t really learn how to use it in practice.”
The ‘REAL entrepreneurial mindset training’ will help the students to bridge the gap between university and real life. Through ‘learning-by-doing’ exercises, the training prepares the students to think and act in order to be a successful entrepreneur.
On the first day of the training, the students are introduced to how a good entrepreneur thinks. Through exercises and games they learn that to identify opportunities, create results from limited means, think creatively, take risks and work together are. important aspects in the entrepreneurial mindset.
One of the exercises the students did the first day was to come up with a solution for a restaurant that was NOT allowed to sell food. Indeed a challenging task but as one of the trainees stated: “The exercise taught us that it is important to use the resources we DO have and that it is essential to open up our minds and think out of the box in order to find a solution.”
The second day of the training the students received their assignment: In five groups they had to create and carry out a youth event with 30 participants before 8 pm the same day. No more class room teaching but one day of action!
At the end of the day all five groups had fulfilled the assignment successfully. One group arranged a campaign against drugs, another did a workshop at a secondary school about how youth can take part in the development of the country.
“The assignment showed me the importance of never giving up, taking risks, and believe that I can succeed,” as one trainee commented.
On the third day the trainees evaluate and discuss their work. Looking back one trainee told that he had found the course “very good, fantastic and much useful. “ They seemed to go home from the training with a whole new perspective on how to practice entrepreneurship.
The next ‘REAL Entrepreneurial Mindset Training’ will be conducted in August.