TOP UR STUDENTS WIN 200,000 RWF TO WORK ON START-UP IDEAS
The African Innovation Prize, on 19th March 2016, awarded 10 University of Rwanda students 200,000 Rwf each for winning its Business Idea Challenge.
The top 10 business ideas were chosen by a panel of judges from a total of 486 submissions. Winning ideas included a proposed ceramic water filter for rural residents, a mobile application that allows people to find their lost identification cards, and a mobile health clinic, among others.
The 2016 Business Idea challenge winners (in no particular order) were:
Christian Iradukunda – Medisync Christian’s application aims to help private clinics in daily management of patients
Yvette Iradukunda – Agri-healthcare With many crop diseases affecting farmers on a daily basis, Yvette wants to avail symptoms and treatment information through a mobile application
Viateur Ndagijimana – Vinyungwe The Protected Nyungwe forest is home to myriads of bees and Viateur wants to use modern methods to produce pure organic honey and derived products
Moses Ishimwe – Anti-mosquito lotion Malaria is a major cause of death in Africa, and Moses wants to create a lotion with natural extracts to repel mosquitoes that spread this terrible disease.
Fidele Gisore – Silver Coated Ceramic filters Fidele wants to create very affordable water filters for rural communities that are out of reach from government water grids
Ebenezer Mugisha – ID track Ebenezer will create a lost and found application to track and find missing Identity Cards without going through tiring government processes
Emmanuel Nzabandora – Hydraulic oil Emmanuel will create Hydraulic oil from the natural plant Ricinus and lower prices for car drivers and machine operators
Etienne Ndagijimana – Accounting Services Many cooperatives struggle to manage their finances professionally, Etienne wants to provide specialized accounting services to these important actors in the economy
Emmanuel Twizeyimana – Data Collection A seasoned data collection agent, Emmanuel will create an application that will ease surveys and research for NGO’s and companies in the region
Jean De La Croix Niyirora – Mobile Clinic Jean De La Croix wants to reach patients in remote areas with a repurposed bus that will house a consultation room and a laboratory for timely treatment
Special recognition prize: Grace Umuhoza – Baby an angel As life becomes very busy for parents in urban areas, Grace will train babysitters to help them care for their children safely and professionally.
“AIP’s work and investment has made many young Rwandans job creators rather than job seekers,” said Moses Tumusiime, director of UR’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development.
Students submitted paragraph length business ideas, which were judged on their creativity, scalability, and market need. Students from every college within the university submitted ideas, and previous years’ winners have gone on to develop their ideas into functional businesses.
“I thought business was all about making money, I didn’t know business was all about creating value,” said Origene Igiraneza, winner of the 2015 AIP Business Plan Competition, the next step for business idea winners.
He told the winners that success in the challenge was not a destination, but only a first step toward something larger. Winners now have to further their business ideas into a business plan and enter the next phase of the competition, in which they have to produce full business plans and defend them before a panel of judges.
AIP — an affiliate of the African Entrepreneur Collective — was founded to spur entrepreneurship and innovation among Rwandan youth.
“When students have ideas that turn into actions and then into businesses, that develops the country and community,” said Julienne Oyler, CEO and founder of AEC.
Welcome to the African Innovation Prize Business Idea Challenge again in 2016
If you have an idea for a new venture or innovation, we can help you make it a reality.
The African Innovation Prize started with a goal of encouraging entrepreneurship within African Universities. We are now looking for YOU, new student entrepreneurs for 2016.
Our goal is to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of students to develop their ideas, skills, and experiences through enterprise. Our business creation competition, along with training and mentoring events can take you from idea to business in under a year.
You can enter in this stage of AIP’s competitions. Entering the AIP Business Idea Challenge is an excellent opportunity to benefit from:
Chance to win cash prizes (Phase 1)
Training in essential business skills
Feedback on your business idea from world class judges
Media exposure for your business idea
Introduction to network of global entrepreneurs, investors and potential partners
Our country is growing economically at an exciting rate compared to many other African countries, and this is solely due to the good governance that has instilled the entrepreneurship mindset within its people. This has not left out the youth within various Universities
We at the African Innovation Prize, as we have done it for many years, organized a business idea training using the Design Thinking Training at the Akilah Institute for Women,-it is a human-centered approach to innovation that integrates the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.
The principles of Design Thinking are helping people around the world approach complex problems, innovate collaboratively, and create sustainable solutions with a human-centered focus. This training educated Akilah students on the fundamentals of design thinking, offered examples of successes in different sectors, and explained how to apply design thinking to solve problems as a team and to generate innovative business ideas.
The similar training will be given to the rest of other University of Rwanda Colleges as they prepare to submit their own/group business ideas to win the AIP Prize.
3 Winners Get our Grand Prize Awards
On Saturday 4th October 2014, we held the Final phase of our Business Plan Competition which was opened earlier in the year between May and July. The event was held at University of Rwanda, College of Business (UR-CBE) and it attracted more than 150 students across the university and guests within the local entrepreneurship and business development ecosystem.
In our Business Plan Challenge, students were asked to submit financially viable business plans in 1,500 words that were subjected to a panel of judges, who were able to narrow down to the best presentations on paper. The pitch of the 10 finalists, out of 57 who submitted their plans, was done in 5 minutes followed up by questions by judges and the audience so as to understand the business concept and what was planned by the upcoming entrepreneurs. The panel of judges included; Emile Murekezi (Igihe Limited), Julienne Oyler (Inkomoko ,Business Development),Marcus Grazette (British High Commission), Jean Claude Rwubahuka (Head of Centre of Entrepreneurship at CBE) and Grace Mugabekazi (Rwanda Business Development Center)
The students who won the cash prizes include:
Ben Claude Uwihanganye from the College of Science and Technology (CST) with his business plan to design and build a roasting stove that uses biogas and natural gas for homes, bars, and restaurants; Evariste Habimana from the College of Business and Economics (CBE) with his business plan to make environmental friendly briquettes to reduce exposure of wastes on the surface and the excessive cutting of trees and Shikama Dioscore from the College of Science and Technology (CST) with his business plan to develop a mobile application that will allow farmers to record their farming activities and predict their yields and their monetary values. These 3 finalists each will receive 2 Million Rwandan Francs to start their respective businesses. The judges highlighted the potential and social impact of Jancyne Tuyishime’s business that aims to provide professional dental care to rural residents in Ngoma, and they pledged to support her access to finance. In addition to these cash prizes, these students will join Inkomoko’s business accelerator programme and attend courses sponsored by the British Council.
Emery Rubagenga, CEO of Roka Rwanda gave tips to the attendees on best practices in business and told the students that in order for them to be achievers; they need determination and a burning desire to get want they want.
The College’s Principal, Dr. Papias Musafiri, in his closing speech thanked all attendees and congratulated the winners in the competition for their innovative ideas. “It is such initiatives and thinking that will create 2 million new jobs by 2020 to meet current unemployment rates and bring in new annual entrants to the workforce as highlighted in vision 2020. You should not sit and wait for help, just start and do with the few means that you have, and you’ll slowly grow big” said the Principal in his closing remarks.
The African Innovation Prize Business Plan competition is organized annually by the African Innovation Prize in collaboration with the University of Rwanda, College of Business and Economics, the Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs, and The Rwandan students’ Unions Forum (FAGER). AIP’s Programme is sponsored by De La Rue and the Segal Family Foundation.
Enteprise Rwanda 2014
From July 7th-11th, we were excited to gather over 200 University students for Enterprise Rwanda─ a week long training and workshop that was hosted by the University of Rwanda, the College of Business and Economics. Enterprise Rwanda 2014 was themed on AIP’s DESIGN pillar with the objective of Inspiring and sharpening University students’ business skills and was generously sponsored byDe La Rue, the Segal Family Foundation, and theCollege of Business and Economics.
From around 70 students from one university during Enterprise Rwanda’s First Edition 4 years ago, Enterprise Rwanda 2014 attracted over 200 students with the aim of training students on different aspects of entrepreneurship by having real case sharing and discussions and the impact has seen an increase of enterprises from those who participate.
The training was officially opened by Roland Ruhumuriza, a Trustee representing AIP’s Board of Directors. He warmly welcomed all student participants and guests and urged them to embrace the opportunities that come their way and be innovative thinkers. Claude Rwubahuka, the Director for Center for Entrepreneurship Development at the College of Business and Economics, emphasized the need of more young entrepreneurs in society who will steer the economy and create jobs for fellow youth.
At Enterprise Rwanda 2014, students got the opportunity to interact with the local enterprise leaders, get insights on the opportunities and constraints of starting and running a business and a range of topics around investment planning. Among these local business leaders who were also speakers were Jean Bosco Nzeyimana MD at Habona Ltd and 2013 AIP Business Plan Competition winner, Aphrodice Mutangana CEO at FOYO Group, Serge Ndekwe Owner of Papyrus, Clement Uwajeneza CEO at Axis Ltd, Teta Isibo CEO at Inzuki Design, Isidore Nzeyimana CEO at Tekutangije and Kagabo Jean de Dieu CEO at Soft Group.
The sessions engaged students in discussions and activity plans which most took advantage of to sharpen their business plans that they expected to submit to AIP’s Business Plan Competition and also it helped in making personal decisions in making plans for their business ideas. Students were very enthusiastic and had time to interact and work with their peers from other colleges on their own business plans, and feedback to each other as well as getting all the details together for AIP’s Business Planning Challenge.
“The best part about this week has been the personal interaction with entrepreneurs who came to share their experiences and ideas and some of them were open to be our mentors” explained Muganga Mariam, one of 2014 AIP’s Business idea winners who was looking to develop her idea further to fruition. Teta Isibo─ one of the speakers during Enterprise Rwanda 2014─ told students that she was a student like them a few years ago and would have loved to get such an opportunity to hear from successful Rwandan business leaders.
The week-long training came to an end with an interactive panel discussion on mentorship and coaching for the youth and especially entrepreneurs who are new to business. The panelists included Emery Rubagenga from Roka Rwanda, Sara Leedom from Inkomoko, Lucy Mbabazi from VISA Rwanda and Eric Iyaremye from GROW Movement.
At the closing ceremony, the Guest of Honor, H.E William Gelling OBE, British High Commissioner, shared with the audience opportunities that young entrepreneurs in Rwanda could take advantage of as UK’s policy is currently supporting entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa.
AIP Fundraising Campaign
The African Innovation Prize is launching a fundraising campaign to raise £10,000. With this money, we will be able to provide more support, funding and training to Rwandan students to help them make their business ideas a reality.
It only takes 10 donations of £20 to fund one of our Phase 1 awards that can act as the catalyst to an African student’s entrepreneurial journey so please donate now!
Check out our new video to see some of student entrepreneurs that we are already supporting.
Ben Joakim, UK Executive Director of AIP says, “We are extremely excited to launch our new fundraising campaign and welcome support from the wider AIP community to help us drive the campaign forward. Please support us to support student entrepreneurs by donating today.”
On behalf of the entrepreneurs you support we say an enormous thank you!
Our Business Idea Challenge was open to all the students from all the colleges of the University of Rwanda from March 1st-31st and students were asked to submit commercially viable business ideas in just 250 words. We received more than 300 applications in total ─a 61% increase in the number of applications from the 2013 Business Idea Challenge. After that period the entries were assessed by our panel of judges composed by local and international business experts from April 1st-25th.
The participation across colleges shows College of Business and Economics (CBE) leading with 34% followed by College of Science and Technology (CST) with 24% and College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) with 17%. Agriculture and Food processing was a leading industry in the business ideas presented followed by ICT and Manufacturing.
“It is the mission of AIP to inspire and support university entrepreneurship and through this competition it holds every year, more students are given the opportunity to be self-employed,” said Mr. Apollo Munanura, Head of the Human Capital & Institutional Development department at Rwanda Development Board. “We at RDB support initiatives inclined to youth employment, entrepreneurship as is this case and youth skill development.”
The guest of honour, Dr. Marie Christine Gasingirwa, Director of Science and Technology at the Ministry of Education, applauded the students who applied and won the challenge noting an increase in interest in business ideas in projects around Agriculture, ICT and healthcare. “If we can have students drawing ideas in their skills and combining across colleges as is the vision of University of Rwanda, students will not only be able to suffice their livelihoods but uplift those around them and foster in building Rwanda’s economy.”
“Students should take up these opportunities that give them real life experience on what they are learning in business courses we provide and I would like to congratulate the winners of the first round of the competition,” said Dr. Papias Malimba, Principal of the College of Business and Economics.
The winners of the competition are: Eric Mutabazi, Vestine Dukeshimana, Mariam Muganga, Rogers Kimuli, Theodomir Sebazungu, Fabrice Niyibizi, Dioscore Shikama, Carine Ndacyayisenga, and Aimable Nzabakurana and each will receive an award of Rwf 200,000 for their business idea in a bid to further them in developing their business idea to a business plan and enter the next phase of the competition. The ceremony ended up with a networking event where students interacted with the guests as well as their entrepreneurial peers.