On 31st of January 2019, Strathmore University Business School (SBS) received an infrequent visit from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) E4impact Foundation, Mr. Mario Molteni. The CEO was here with the aim of partnering with SBS to promote impactful entrepreneurship in Kenya through possible innovative projects. This was the topic of discussion in a meeting attended by SBS Executive Dean George Njenga, Director Africa Media Lab Rosemary Okello Orlale and several senior management staff.
E4impact, an Italy-based Foundation, was founded in 2015 and is described as a spin off to the E4impact initiative launched in 2010 by ALTIS Graduate School, Business and Society. The foundations’ aim is to promote impact entrepreneurship in Africa and have been seen to support the expansion of African and international Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sub-Saharan area through their ‘Business Scaling Lab’. The Foundation is able to do these activities by matching them with reliable local entrepreneurs and offering businesses a low-cost low-risk opportunity to enter the African countries they are involved with.
The E4impact Foundation seeks to do more in Kenya through partnerships with SBS. “It would be an honour to work with Strathmore as we have similar values which make us natural partners” said Mr. Molteni.
The Dean was enthusiastic about the proposed partnership with E4impact Foundation as he informed the visiting team of the many avenues that SBS put in place to assist students get careers in enterprise. He spoke of @iBizAfrica’s partnership with SBS as they have assisted several ideas come to life. The likes of; Mfarm, a project that has taken agri-business online offering information to farmers about prices, weather and other agricultural aspects, M-ledger, an online service for individuals and businesses that use MPESA allowing you to view your transactions from your phone and even transfer to excel for easier reconciliation and Purpink, the leading online gift-shop in Kenya among others.
We are open to partnerships that will not only bring an additional programme on board but ensure that it is a programme with a difference, said the Dean. He reiterated the need to think of the bigger picture, the need to get our youth out of poverty and into situations of stable income. Manager for Partnerships, Mary Wanjohi agreed with His sentiments and encouraged the team to think of the school’s existing entrepreneurs and think of short-term solutions for them before delving into long-term projects.
Agri-business was a major topic of concord where the SBS team expressed the need for a solution with these entrepreneurs in mind. It was agreed that entrepreneurs could benefit from solutions that would give them access to markets, resources and allow for import and export activities. It was hoped that the partnership would ensure that once we offer training to students we would accompany it with mentorship to ensure better implementation of the tabled ideas.
A committee was formed to ensure we come up with a viable plan that will see the groups suggestions materialize.
This article was written by Pamela Nyandat.
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