By Elias Hakizimana.
High school students with best business ideas were recognised last Saturday, April 28, 2018 in Kigali during the YES Conference High School for the best of helping them making their dreams a reality.
The Yes Conference is organised by All Trust Consult Limited with aim of recognising high school young entrepreneurs’ ideas.
Modeste Ndangamira, corporate project manager of All Trust Consult company and organizer of YES awards which is part of YES conference said they want to motivate youth entrepreneurship start-ups whose potential entrepreneurship ideas.
“Basically we are trying to solve the problem of lacking enough skills on how to pitch the business idea and actually how to make business plan,” said Ndangamira.
Frank Rubaduka, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of All Trust Consult Ltd that organizes YES Conference explained that YES conference has two main parts, one being YES Conference Campus and YES Conference High School.
The Yes Conference campus was held in February 2018, and was followed by the current Yes conference ‘High School’. Its main purpose is to recognise high school young entrepreneurs’ ideas for the best of reaching implementation level.
For the first edition of awards that went to University students in February, three best winners were awarded, whereby the first got Rwf300,000 prize plus a one-year consultancy guarantee and follow-up for the business idea.
Currently, the Yes conference High School awards included Rwf150,000 for the best winner, Rwf125,000 for the first runner-up, and Rwf100,000 for the second runner-up, plus a brand ‘Techno Spark’ Mobile Phone worth Rwf145,000 given to each of the three winners.
“We are trying to recognise young entrepreneurs in high schools who have those best ideas but lack no one to recognize them. There is a perception that their ideas will be developed once they have completed high schools,” he said giving an example that so many great ideas in America are born when the children are still in the high schools.
Rubaduka shared a story of an American boy whose idea of smart body cleaning started at high school, and now owns a largest company in Africa and recognised globally as genius high school student.
“I tell you the story of the guy who owns the largest company in africa called ‘la wash’. The guy was in high school and came up with an idea of how people can stay clean without going to the bathroom, he brought something like a lotion, you can use that lotion and then you do not need more bathing,” Rubaduka said.
“I believe these guys can have also initiatives, we are here to support them, to hear from them, give them chance to pitch and we have gathered all the sponsors and some of them were given the money and smart phones to support their businesses to be in line with technology,” he added.
He said they are partnering with career centers at schools to make sure that they follow the students’ ideas, work on them and consult companies for the two years’ startups of these ideas. “We are committed to do this and a we are inviting every potential partner and every person who is interested in this,” Rubaduka said.
He said that they nurture entrepreneurship ideas in high schools so that they join universities when they have their own start-ups.
“A real student of University should be having his own start-up, there should be a difference between high school and University, high school student should be a dreamer and try a project, when he joins campus, when he tries running a project around, 30 percent is not loan in America, those who are in high school and universities have their own start-ups,” he observed.
A motivational message
“In Rwanda we still have perception that when you are at University, you have to be there full time, I do not believe the same, I am a student at University at my final year and I am doing all the things, a University student should not be only sitting in the class, he/she tries something aside, and should be having a start-up,” Rubaduka advised students.
He said that the budget is about faith, how you love and believe in your idea.
In the process, awarded youth will be followed in their schools for further incubation.
“We will keep incubating them giving them internship in our company and more support,” said Rubaduka.
He said that these young students will be followed until when their ideas are implemented to their expectations.
The company started last year in October with the mission to deliver support to young innovators in regard with strengthening their business ideas. The annual YES conference happens every single year and next one will be held in Kigali on April 28th, 2019.
Elias Hakizimana @theinspirerpubl