Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree is a dream for many university students and better still, a burning desire for those who aim at getting first class honors. However, many are treated with the cruel reality of unemployment after graduating, dissuading their hopes of living better lives. In an effort to address this issue, a global entrepreneurship training program, sponsored by the Korean government was organized and held at St.Paul’s University, Limuru, held between 22nd and 27th January 2018. The training involved lectures that focused on building the entrepreneurship mindsets in order to steer the thought process of the participants as well as business competitions that challenged each of the participants. The training attracted businessmen and women from across the country, students and youth who were aspiring to learn to become better and skilled entrepreneurs. Present, were students and staff from both Handong Global University and St.Paul’s University.
I recall one of the quotes mentioned by, Professor George Kim from Handong Global University (South Korea) being, “Look at the world the way it should be and not the way it is”. He elaborated this point by encouraging the audience to put their ideas into action so as to be able to achieve their dreams of making the world a better place despite the fact that it is challenging. He went further to enlighten the participants with a simple yet intriguing message,“Entrepreneurship is a mindset”, implying that most successful entrepreneurs have a mindset that is focused, optimistic and determined to make their businesses a success, again, despite existing challenges. With these insightful lectures, the event was able to achieve its goal of helping prospective entrepreneurs in developing countries learn entrepreneurship through experience. Through teamwork, the participants competed with other groups in presenting their ideas to a panel of judges that comprised of lecturers from the two participating universities. This helped the participants put into practice what they learned every day in the week-long intensive training.
In addition, the groups treasured the importance of having entrepreneurial ideas that embrace Sustainable Development Goals. For example, the winning group won the idea of recycling used hair from salons to manufacture weaves which showed the appreciation towards recycling in taking care of the environment. On the same note, another group shared a business idea of using plastics to put up affordable housing for people living in slums, in an effort to promote sustainable communities (SDG 11) and also using the recycled plastic to make beautiful pieces of art to enable the unemployed have an income to support their families. The concept of having a sustainability concept in the business ideas was well appreciated by the participants.
The event embraced the diverse culture present in the training by holding a culture night on Wednesday, 24th January 2018 that saw participants share melodiously their beautiful cultures through singing and dancing. Both representative students from Handong Global University and St. Pauls University showcased their authentic traditions through mouth-watering performances. This gesture went a long way in strengthening unity among the participants and also giving them a short break from the intensive work that they had in their hands. The training was aimed at ensuring that the unemployment rate does not become a menace in our country and through teaching the participants to use their skills wisely to earn a living and also make the society a better place this, in my opinion, was achieved. The participants vowed to start their businesses so that the next time the event is held. More so, they were willing to motivate others who were not present to take up entrepreneurship since it is a mindset that can be cultivated to yield sweet results.
Frank Maina is a second year student at Strathmore University pursuing a degree in Finance. He is also a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth at his campus and engages himself mostly with SDG 13, Climate Action. He is passionate about ensuring a greener and more sustainable environment and has been able to participate in a climate simulation program as well as attending a world climate simulation facilitator training. He looks forward to growing as a SDSN youth member and networking in an effort to act on ideas that will help build and promote the sustainable development goals.