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.