Why Business students need testimonies from colleague-practitioners

By Elias Hakizimana.

Rwandan Business students decry lack of startup capital to create jobs, making a kind of fear and cause their mindset to always think that self-employment is impossible without money.

For them to get how possible it is, testimonies from colleagues are the key requirements. Following the recent discussion through a-half day workshop organized by the Chamber for Young Entrepreneurs (CYE) of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Business students exposed their challenges and their colleagues who successfully set up their business after experiencing serious struggles tried to inspire them.

Sabrina M. KILEO, a student in 4th year of Business and Information Communication Technology (BBICT) said the discussion is important as they learn about quick books useful in Business Management and hearing from business practitioners is vital as it inspires business students.

Sabrina M. KILEO participating in discussions with young entrepreneurs 

“This workshop is very important as it inspires us how to employ ourselves, so, we get the knowledge for job creation that looks for the development through employing others,” she said.

She said that the biggest challenge youth still fear is that starting any business is not easy from the concept to implementation, pointing on the capital as a huge concern.

Thomas Mwesigye, the Minister of Academics in Mount Kenya University Rwanda said that most of the times students need inspiration from their colleagues who are practicing businesses as self-employed.

Thomas Mwesigye, the Minister of Academics in Mount Kenya University speaking to The Inspirer 

“Youth are very willing to start businesses but we still have a challenge of start-up capital, we all have innovative ideas but we are not financially able to start implementing them,” Mwesigye said.

“What we gained through this talk is the testimony of cow horn Rwanda Chief Executive Officer, who started in struggles and now being awarded for his successful business as a good young entrepreneur, so, we have also changed mindset to pass through the similar struggle,” Mwesigye said, adding that these guys come on time to help him start a business from his many ideas.

In his testimony, Jean Marie Vianney Habiyaremye, the Managing Director of CowHorns Rwanda shared some of the challenges he met when he started a business, encouraging them to start from no matter amount as they have ideas.

“You may have knowledge on carpentry for example, you do not in that case to start buying big machines, but you should start with simple saw, I started the same way, you do not need to start higher, no, start and whoever will need to sponsor you will do that because he/she can see your progress,”

He encourages the young students to not fear because self-employment is a solution to the country’s development as many people get jobs from that.

Jean Marie Vianney Habiyaremye, the Managing Director of CowHorns Rwanda sharing his success story with the students

He said that having University Knowledge in Business in an added asset for these students to create vibrant businesses.

Patrick Uwitonze Amiable, founder of KURANGA Digital Limited based in Information Communication and Technology (ICT) said youth need inspiration that includes experiences from other business people who have made a significant journey.

Patrick Uwitonze Amiable, founder of KURANGA Digital Limited

He said the fear to not start businesses exposed by some of the students come from that “they fear taking risks”, which is not bad as it is normal when starting.

“The message I can leave to these students is that being at school is not only a heavy task, but also they should take it as an opportunity to meet and look into other opportunities around the community. Being at school is an opportunity to think on what you can do in the near future,” he said.

Pacifique Uwineza, Director of Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (CYE) in the Private Sector Federation (PSF) said that the chamber has organized this kind of discussion to equip University students with knowledge and experience of how to take risks and become an entrepreneur.

Pacifique Uwineza, Director of Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (CYE) 

He said that the chamber is ready to give them free advice in terms of ideas and that in coming days they will be supported to boost projects under progress.

“We are creating partnerships with some development partners to help us support projects of youth that are hardly progressing.” Uwineza said.

Students who are persuing their business studies at MKUR during discussions with young entrepreneurs   
Students brainstorming about the lessons learnt from young entrepreneurs’ inspiration/ photos by Elias Hakizimana.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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