Entrepreneurship

 

Our Entrepreneurship major is developed to educate innovative and bold businesswomen to take the industry to a new and internationally competitive level. Our entrepreneurship students experiment with business management, innovation, data analysis, market research, and financial management through a practically oriented curriculum, real-life business cases, and start-up competitions.

 

"For Rwanda’s development, the emergence of a viable private sector that can take over as the principal growth engine of the economy is absolutely key. Not only will such a development be conducive for economic growth, but it will also ensure the emergence of a vibrant middle class of entrepreneurs, which will help develop and embed the principles of democracy."

-Rwanda's 2020 Vision

 

"We want to create an enabling environment for our student to turn her ideas into a profitable and scalable business by the time she graduates. By doing this we are actively support the vision of the country of enhancing female entrepreneurship."

-Stanley Mukasa, Entrepreneurship Instructor

 

"Our program is designed to develop practical skills in the students and to motivate them to love what they are doing. Akilah provides seed capital for students to run their businesses because we believe students need to learn the practical way of doing things instead of just the theoretical way. So we give them a chance to really run their businesses in groups."

-Moses Senyonjo, Business and Entrepreneurship Instructor

Setting up our entrepreneurs for success

Out-of-Classroom Learning:

Site visits, interviews with entrepreneurs, observations of local marketing, and case studies

Business Plan Competition:

Compete for start-up funding to work with global mentors

Career Development:

Internships, workplace training, and assistance with career planning and job placement

Leadership Development:

Over 80 hours of training in community leadership, and completion of a Social Change Project

Summer Internship:

Students are required to complete a two-month internship to gain practical experience and explore different career options

Career Prospects:

Possible career tracks for graduates, including Account Executive, Banker, Business Analyst, Market Representative, and Small Business Owner

Graduates are equipped to:

Manage various aspects of a business, have innovative thinking, risk taking and risk management skills, and launch innovative business ventures

Akilah’s own Entrepreneurship Fund provides seed funding of up to 2 million Rwf ($2,600) to students with exceptional business ideas to try them out in real life. Each year Akilah and employment partner Inkomoko finance high-potential students businesses through the annual competition with a total of more than 4 million Rwf ($6,000).

MEET OUR RISING ENTREPRENEURS

"Before I enrolled at Akilah I didn’t have an interest in business, and I used to fear talking to people I didn’t know. But my eyes were opened at Akilah and I realized that doing business is really my passion. I combined my skills from Akilah with research I have been doing for the last three years on the market demand and availability of mushrooms in the country. I have been growing them at my small farm for both consumption and selling. I want to build my own factory, employing 100 people in my community."

- Pascaline Uwineza '17

Entrepreneurship Fund '16 winner; Mushroom farm owner

"My business collects fresh coffee beans from local farmers in my community, which I distribute to markets. I have 14 employees and am working with 480 farmers. Farmers want me to give them trainings on business planning. I want to work with a lot of people to make sure my community benefits from my business. The profit I receive has helped me pay my tuition, support my family members and save enough to expand my business after graduation."

- Zipora Nyituriki '17

Business owner, coffee cooperative

 

"I’ve really benefited from knowing how to conduct market research. We used it to decide a location for my business. I interviewed customers and even our competitors to see how their business is going, what makes them unique, what are their weaknesses – so we can improve before opening the business."

- Souzane Murekatete '16

Business owner, producing and selling traditional Rwandan goods

Is this the program for you?

Entrepreneurship students are persistent and creative with a talent for persuasion and problem solving. Applicants must have a diploma from a secondary school, a passing grade on the national exam, academic excellence, leadership potential, and intermediate English fluency.