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KU team wins inter-varsity business challenge

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Team Nexus from Kenyatta University (from left Kevin Kuria, Jacqueline Njuguna and Kevin Kuria) won this year’s Idea Trophy contest.
Team Nexus from Kenyatta University (from left Kevin Kuria, Jacqueline Njuguna and Kevin Kuria) won this year’s Idea Trophy contest.

Team Nexus from Kenyatta University are this year’s winners of Idea Trophy Kenya, an inter-university competition entrepreneurship by Unilever East and Southern Africa.

Jacqueline Njuguna, Kevin Kuria and John Githiri beat their rivals from University of Nairobi and Moi University to be declared the winners of the competition that was launched in August.

Team Life from Moi University came in at second place while Team Synergy from UON was third. Finalists from Strathmore, Moi, Kenyatta and Nairobi Universities were shortlisted to battle it out for the top prize in the grand finale, where the winning team would win a fully paid trip to tour Unilever South Africa plant.

500 business ideas were submitted from various public and private universities in Kenya.

“The objective of Idea trophy competition is to give students a platform to be able to develop business scenarios creatively and to execute them,” said Yaw Nsarkoh Managing Director, Unilever East & Southern Africa.

“This year’s challenge aims to help us identify innovative ways in which we further deliver hygiene education, particularly hand washing, to children.  Changing behaviors of hand washing can help save lives and reduce infections. It is essential that Unilever continues to finds ways to make positive social change a reality in our communities, and with this trophy, we are getting our youth involved in finding solutions to socio-economic challenges and opportunities for today and for their future.”

Idea Trophy is a business development program designed by Unilever to create an out of class learning experience to help college students learn personal and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. The program targets undergraduate or masters’ students below 25 years from universities in Kenya.

Launched in 2012, Idea Trophy Kenya is in its 2nd edition and has seen increased interest from the students from various universities across the country.

The competition is structured in 3 phases. In the first phase, students from various disciplines are required to form teams of three, register and submit their business ideas online. After submission, the teams then present their business ideas to a selected panel of judges. The third phase is known as Boot-camp where drafting of execution plans is done. The top three teams are announced after this stage by a judging panel that comprises of senior business leaders.

The winning business plan is big, innovative, disruptive costly viablewith excellent presentation skills.

The top prize will be an all-expense paid trip to Unilever South Africa for the winning team, an iPad for each member of the winning team and a chance to represent Africa at the Unilever super league in Singapore. Runners up get a laptop for each of the 3 members anda Smartphone for each of the 3 members in the 2nd Runner’s up Team.  All the three top teams also get an opportunity to intern at Unilever.

Last year, the top prize went to Maseno University for their Rexona business project known as Biz wits. About 501 teams consisting of 1503 students submitted their ideas.

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