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Mubs, Mount Kenya partner to promote startups by students, staff

Mount Kenya University VC Stanley Waudo presents a gift to head of Culture and Education at the German Embassy Madam Ursula Koos. (PHOTO/COURTESY)

KAMPALA/KENYA – Two universities have teamed up to sponsor a business plan competition to help their students and staff develop startups

Mount Kenya University and Makerere University Business School (MUBS) will help successful applicants to transform their ideas from concepts into viable commercial ventures.

They will call for submission of business proposals and shortlist 50 individuals to take part in the contest. The universities will each produce 25 entrepreneurs who will form 10 teams.

The winning group will be awarded UGX200,000 and have its ideas developed until its products are ready for the market.

“The new joint initiative currently covers Kenya and Uganda but will soon be expanded to target innovators and entrepreneurs from the entire East African region,” MKU vice chancellor Stanley Waudo said on Tuesday.

“Twenty-five Mount Kenya University applicants will be ferried to Uganda to join the Makerere team. The 50 of them will be trained for three days, assisted to form new joint Mount Kenya–Makerere teams.

“The teams shall work together to resubmit and present jointly completed business proposals for the final selection by a panel of judges.”

He spoke during a Students Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP) ceremony. Sixty-two beneficiaries were awarded certificates.

The programme ran for four months from January on MKU Thika campus. The students, in groups of five to seven, were awarded UGX10,000 for business and taken through the principles of entrepreneurship. In the end, they returned the capital and kept the profits.

The STEP project has been sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) under a three-year Collaboration of Entrepreneurial Universities project.

It involves giving loans of UGX10,000 to groups of five to seven students to carry out businesses on campus as a co-curricular activity as they are taken through the theoretical aspects entrepreneurship.

They return the seed capital at the end of the 12-week training.

The ceremony was attended by MKU co-founder Jane Nyutu and officials from the German Embassy and the Makerere University Business School.

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