In 2017 Strathmore University in conjunction with Leuphana University of Luneburg – Germany, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in developing an entrepreneurship skills enhancement training programme, dubbed, “Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP).
The STEP programme which benefits students pursuing Undergraduate, Graduate and Post- Graduate studies, graduated its inaugural class of 200 students on 18th July 2018. STEP students form teams and engage in the start-up process of a real micro business during the training. They proceed through the entire entrepreneurial process from preparing to launching and managing a real business. This involves that they identify and evaluate new business opportunities, acquire equipment and raw materials, deal with suppliers, and enter the market to offer their product or service to real customers. The students thus take an active role and learn entrepreneurship “on-the-job”.
“The presentation from the different students on their entrepreneurial projects is an indication that this programme is impactful,” remarked Dr. Edward Mungai, Strathmore Business School Associate Dean – Research and Innovation. He encouraged the students to continue pursuing and growing their respective business projects. STEP increases the number of new jobs by 35% and increases start-up rate by 34%.
The 5-year partnership between the two institutions has been fostering collaboration in; faculty and student exchange programmes, joint research, fundraising and resource mobilization, participation in international seminars and academic meetings, development of short academic programmes, consultancy services and community outreach initiatives.
During the MoU signing, Dr. George Njenga highlighted the importance of academic collaborations emphasising on the need to collaborate with international institutions that support cross-cultural learning interventions. “The importance of academic partnership is that it offers students the opportunity to participate in significant experiences across various institutions of higher learning. Participation in innovative courses such as cross-institutional faculty and student exchange, research collaboration, internships or community outreach initiatives, enables us to groom students to be true global citizens,” said Dr. Njenga.
Prof. Michael Frese, Professor of Psychology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Leuphana, University of Luneburg, spoke of the importance of harnessing Kenya’s entrepreneurial potential through imparting entrepreneurial skills in institutions of learning. This he said, would be pivotal in projecting the country’s entrepreneurial landscape forward. “Currently, Kenya has been witnessing major growth in entrepreneurship and innovation, led by a rising interest towards new technologies and mobile connectivity. Kenya’s integration of digital technology for economic growth has been remarkable and significantly outstanding across the continent. This partnership coming at a ripe age whereby the uptake of entrepreneurship is vibrant, gives us the confidence that the outcomes of this MOU shall significantly advance the country’s potential into realization,” remarked Prof. Frese.