KIGALI - Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) completed a six-day seminar dubbed “Rwanda Entrepreneurship Week”, which ended on Saturday at the campus premises in Kigali City.
The training, which was organised in collaboration with a team of students from Cambridge University, was aimed at developing the business skills among students. It was attended by students of different institutions of higher learning around the country.
The participants were trained on basic business and entrepreneurship skills, including like team work, business planning and budgeting.
“Though KIST is more of a sciences university, we think that training students in business management is vital to help them manage their companies in the future and grow into successful entrepreneurs,” said KIST Vice Rector, Prof. John Mshana, in an interview.
The closing ceremony also marked the conclusion of the “African Innovative Prize”, a business planning competition that has been ongoing at the institute for the past six months.
The winner of the competition, Patrice Habinshuti, said he would use his Rwf500,000 cash prize to start a horticulture business. “My plan is to grow flowers that will be used at funerals and party decorations in Kigali.
I will use this money and the business skills I acquired to implement my plan.”
He was also a winner in the second phase of last year’s competition when the African Innovation Prize was first conducted.
Presiding over the closing ceremony, the Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda, Claver Gatete, commended the programme, saying that it was in line with Rwanda’s plan to develop a knowledge-based economy.
“Rwanda has always encouraged innovativeness among its population, and particularly students, as one way of achieving its goal of developing a knowledge-based economy,” he said.
“I will always be at your disposal to help advance this programme, and I am confident that it is one way of improving entrepreneurship and promoting the private sector in our country.”
Sarah Teacher, the leader of the Cambridge team, noted that they planned to expand the African Innovation Prize to the national level by next year.
“We are talking to several universities to have their students participate in the first and second phases of the competition, and then the grand winner to be announced at national level; we will the expand it to international level later alone.”