Three students scoop entrepreneurship awards

Three young entrepreneurs walked away with Rwf2 million each at the closing of the African Innovation Prize’s “Enterprise Rwanda 2013” competition last week.

Three young entrepreneurs walked away with Rwf2 million each at the closing of the African Innovation Prize’s “Enterprise Rwanda 2013” competition last week.

The winners were awarded start up funding for their winning business ideas after week long business training. 

The event was sponsored by De La Rue and organised in collaboration with the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.

The Africa Innovation Prize is aimed to inspire entrepreneurship and provide grass roots funding for potential new initiatives every year.

The event was followed by a week-long training workshop under the theme budding young entrepreneurs from universities across Rwanda.

It attracted local business leaders to share experiences, provide advice and frameworks for students and entrepreneurs to consider when starting a business.

The winners and their businesses were Bosco Nyandwi: My Village Heat, Elie Nzayisenga: Data Ltd, and Dieudonné Dusengumukiza: Kigali Oil Company. 

The awards in Kigali were presented by Rosemary Mbabazi, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth and ICT, and Dr Christine Gasingirwa, the rector of Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.

Nexus of mentorship

“Rwanda is making great strides towards stability and through the encouragement of an entrepreneurial culture, private sector development and innovative thinking. We believe that schemes such as the African Innovation Prize can really start to make a tangible difference,” Tony Mullen, the accounts director of the De La Rue Solutions business unit, said in a statement.

“Our aim is to encourage students to dream, design, and dedicate themselves to their business ideas to provide a world-class business plan competition, supported by focused training for students,” he said.

“We need to develop connections between students and the local enterprise community through seeding entrepreneurship clubs within universities, and brokering mentorship between students and local business leaders,” Mullen said.

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