By Elias Hakizimana.
Experts revealed that some African countries are subject to challenges that could be overcome through hybrid enterprises. The case brings Rwanda and Kenya among Africa’s most dynamic economies that exhibit strong economic growth as per (AFDB report of 2019).
In Rwanda, the University of Tourism, Hospitality and Business studies (UTB) has understood this concept and conducted a workshop on Hybrid Entrepreneurship in project of Summer School from February 22, up to March 3, 2020.
The goal of this project is to combine the transmission of academic knowledge about the topic of hybrid entrepreneurship in developing countries with practical insights by travelling to Kigali, Rwanda and Nairobi, Kenya. It also strives to create a lively academic debate and intercultural exchange among the participants from seven countries and three continents namely: Rwanda, Kenya, Singapore, France, Burundi and Germany.
Dr. Callixte Kabera, the Vice Chancellor of UTB said that the hybrid entrepreneurship is a new concept in entrepreneurship whereby they can mean creation of social enterprise, with not only social goals, ecological goals, environmental goals but also with a high aim of getting a profit.
He said that this means a lot for UTB as some of their staff participated in this programme as trainers and trainees, getting knowledge from this new concept about entrepreneurship, and sharpening their ideas and start thinking how someone can be an entrepreneur.
The hybrid entrepreneurship is expected to help the staff to combine work with creation of something that is vital to the society and entrepreneurs themselves.
The concept rationale for the students
“And for the students, they will gain a lot in terms of enlarging and enriching the knowledge in terms of entrepreneurship, but also we have been lucky to receive different people from six universities from three continents by sharing experience, by interviewing people at the business labour market, we gain a lot not only in terms of academia but also in terms of conducting research on the ground; so, this will benefit a lot our academia, our students and people who participated will be inspired to create their own businesses,”
Kabera said that the training started from Rwanda and will continue to Nairobi to share experience from Rwanda and to other sister universities.
The hybrid entrepreneurship has recently worked and benefited the communities in Eastern Europe and America, as its way of combining on one side work and at the same time creating business is contributing a lot to economic growth of different countries.
“In Africa also, it is something we can replicate, it is possible in East Africa; so, we are going to spearhead this project in terms of having people who can create additional enterprises, social enterprises and friendly enterprises, that is why we think this new concept is going to help not only our students but something that will add value to the labour market,” Kabera noted, adding that it will add value to culture diversity.
Dr.Emiel L.Eijdenberg, Senior Lecturer, Business at JAMES COOK University IN Singapore who was part of the delegates at UTB during the workshop for Hybrid Entrepreneurship said that first of all Entrepreneurship is humankind and has a lot of impacts in Africa and was spearheaded in different forms all over the world.
“We have good examples here in Rwanda, we would like the students to go to visit entrepreneurs and hear the stories about how they stared their businesses, how they grow the businesses, what are the missions and what they do to get to the better place, we are closing the project here in Rwanda and then we are continuing in Kenya,” Dr. Emiel said.
Lucy Anne, from Nairobi University in Kenya was also part of the participants who are undertaking the lessons of hybrid social entrepreneurship. She said that this is important as it can help an entrepreneur to meet his/her social and economic goals at the same time looking for financial freedom.
“On another side, we can develop the society in one way or another, looking on social achievements and leaving the society better in terms of helping people and fast tracking sustainable development goals, it is like a combination of pursuing financial goals at the same time being able to incorporate social and other ecological parts.” she said, adding that the new concept will respond to the issue of unemployment in Africa.
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