Colleagues, Students, Alumni and Members of the SBS Community, may I take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your understanding, adaptability and resilience since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Your support and partnership have taken us to the next level despite the challenges.
As many of us have been affected by the pandemic, may I take this opportunity to extend my deepest sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones.
Reflecting on our progress since the year started, Strathmore University Business School has continued to strengthen our on-line education system by identifying new devices, creating platforms and improving our courses. As we continue to improve on our on-line learning, we have designed hybrid courses, which are critical for our students namely: Undergraduates, Post-graduates, PhDs and the Executives and specialised training which helps to strengthen competitiveness and create a future with decent jobs.
SBS is widely recognised as an entrepreneurial business school. The institution strives to think outside the box and champion innovation. We have been involved in working with various partners to strengthen the SME sector that employs 80 percent of Kenyans. In partnership with the government, private sectors and international organisations, the institution has hosted many SMEs conferences, including the first ever Presidential roundtable under the theme: The Role of SMEs as the Engine of Economic Growth in Africa. We have also held the Kenya Rice Value Chain Forum, an initiative that brought together the triple helix of Government, Industry and Academia in conjunction with civil society to assess the global competitiveness of a key staple food that is a mainstay of Kenya’s economy.
By providing much-needed technical assistance to SMEs on increasingly important topics such as: ‘The role of SMEs in transforming the agricultural sector and food security’; ‘The role of the SMEs in transforming the housing and urbanization sector’; ‘The role of SMEs in promoting the Universal Healthcare agenda’; ‘The role of SMEs in the Manufacturing industry’; ‘Climate change adaptation: Resource efficiency’; ‘Circular economy: Market access and creating a sustainability standards certification by setting up SMEs Hubs at County level’, we look forward to transforming the Kenyan SME business sector to be globally competitive.
Continuing in the spirit of supporting SMEs, SBS recently entered into a Co-operative Agreement with USAID through the County Business Centers for USAID/KEA/OEGI award. The purpose of this Cooperative Agreement is to provide support for the County Business Centers which aim to strengthen Kenya’s economic competitiveness and its prospects for sustained growth. As the project strategy evolves, the model will involve implementing the USA Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) in the local county communities. This implementation will be done in partnership with the Center based in the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA), USA.
Excellence is part of the institution’s philosophy. We therefore celebrate our Postgraduate students who are excelling in designing innovative solutions to make a positive difference in society. Abigail Ndirangu and Winnie Abuto, both of whom are undertaking the MBA in Healthcare Management Programme were part of the team that won a global prize in the 2021 BAHM Case Competition. Their business idea, Nufaika Health, is a B2B e-commerce marketplace for pharmaceutical procurement designed to empower small pharmacies to sell quality medicines in rural areas in Kenya. I am very proud of the contributions made by them and other students to advance the frontiers of innovation in healthcare.
Our Undergraduate students have also not been left behind. They are also shining in the global space. Three Bachelor of Commerce students, Joan Kareri, Anoushka Kassam, and Pankaj Varsani won the 9th Edition of the Unilever Idea Trophy Competition. They are now set for the global finals to be held later this year. Another brilliant team of young minds, Kivu Sokoni topped the Nairobi Hult Prize Regional Impact Summit. Kivu Sokoni is a team of three international students from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
I also take this opportunity to congratulate the Green Eco Organics team, founded by Samuel Macharia Kioya which emerged as the winning team at the Hult Regionals Impact Summit in Dubai.
To leverage our work to a higher scale, our Faculty members are always looking into ways of making a difference by sharing their knowledge. Recently, Professor Robert Mudida authored a book titled, ‘An Emerging Africa in an Age of Globalisation which is set to be featured in the Innovations in International Affairs (IAA) book series by Routledge Publishing. From the Institute of Healthcare Management, Dr. Francis (Frank) Wafula, was recently appointed to join the World Health Organisation (WHO) Technical Expert Group (TEG) on healthcare regulation. Dr.Pratap Kumar, alongside Stephen Sammut, Jason Madan, Sherri Bucher, and Meghan Bruce Kumar also wrote a commentary titled: Digital ≠ paperless: novel interfaces needed to address global health challenges that was published in the prestigious BMJ Global Health Journal.
In our continuous endeavour to serve society, we recently launched the Strathmore Executive Magazine where we publish articles on thought leadership on cutting edge topics from our local and international Faculty and students. The magazine aspires to be a tool for transformation by educating the wider community on all our initiatives and ideas to positively impact and transform society and invite people to partner with us to continue breaking barriers as we inspire and develop the next generation of great African leaders.
We also launched our new website. Please visit: https://sbs.strathmore.edu
I deeply appreciate your efforts and contributions towards making SBS a thriving community.
Dr. George Njenga
Executive Dean, Strathmore University Business School