Akilah Enterprise Development Workshop

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Araceli Camargo and Daniel Gutierrez are the founders of THECUBE London and its sister space WECREATE NYC, innovation spaces that act as workspaces beyond co-working. Araceli and Daniel recently traveled to Kigali, Rwanda to deliver a three-day workshop on enterprise development to Akilah students, a training they have presented in North America, South America, and Europe. The workshop was geared towards students who plan on starting their own small enterprise while studying at Akilah.

Akilah students learn techniques to maintain an entrepreneurial mindset.

Akilah students learn techniques to maintain an entrepreneurial mindset.

Over the course of the three-day workshop, 50 Akilah students covered an incredible amount of content and interactive discussion. Training and themes included:  

  • Preparing the mind for an enterprise

In the first session students learned how the brain functions and how humans respond to all the elements around them. This first day of training also taught the students stress management techniques, problem solving, and creative thinking in an effort to learn techniques to maintain an entrepreneurial mindset.

  • Assessing the economic environment: industrial engineering tools to problem solve

The second day of training focused on problem solving, specifically around industrial engineering tools used to assess the root cause of problems they see in their communities. Student participated in activities that challenged them to analyze problems they face and discussing innovative solutions and common challenges that arise when proposing solutions to society. The second session focused on different business processes like sales, marketing, and branding and ended with a lively discussion around healthy business practices.

Akilah students put together mini-business plans.

Akilah students put together mini-business plans.

  • Barriers to entry, inspiring stories, setting up a mini business

Day three began with a discussion about barriers to entry, where the students learned about some of the most common barriers faced by entrepreneurs followed by regional success stories of overcoming those barriers. Students went through a guided exercise of developing a mini business idea. Once complete, students presented their ideas, which ranged from an interior design studio to a mobile vegetable and juice shop!

By the end of the workshop, students had learned about the many different aspects of enterprise development creation and had the opportunity to stretch their creative muscles as well as hone their problem solving and critical thinking skills. Akilah was thrilled to have the opportunity welcome Araceli and Daniel to campus!

Akilah students discuss tools used to assess the root cause of problems they see in their communities.

Akilah students discuss tools used to assess the root cause of problems they see in their communities.

Below Araceli and Daniel share their experience from their time on our campus where they covered topics from business process to problem solving.  

We have found there are three principles an individual needs to easily learn new concepts: a trusting environment, openness, and mental flexibility. These principles are evident at Akilah in the manner the students are receptive to new knowledge. We found them trusting and open to learning our tools. The [enterprise] programme is tough as it asks individuals to learn new tools, which challenge old ways of thinking, high level of retention, and the application of the tools in a short period of time. Through teaching this programme in different places, we have noticed that individuals who belong to open and trusting communities adapt to the programme faster. Therefore the students ability to perform as well as they did is testament to Akilah’s pursuit of creating an environment that is trusting and open to innovative ways of teaching new knowledge.

Learning the vision of Akilah and being so thoroughly welcomed by the students and staff made our experience incredible rewarding. – Araceli and Daniel 

Araceli Camargo and Daniel Gutierrez with Akilah students during their Enterprise Development Workshop.

Araceli Camargo and Daniel Gutierrez with Akilah students during their Enterprise Development Workshop.

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