A new social enterprise accelerator program and mentorship program has been launched for university and college students. The program targets undergraduate students with a passion for business. It bring together students of different disciplines, ranging from Business Studies, Hotel Management to Journalism students who have unique ideas and are interested in getting enterprise guidance; from product development to the market.
The promotion of social entrepreneurship is top on the programs agenda, with students encouraged to create businesses that not only generates profits but also provides service to their community. The program seeks to “incubate new socially conscious and economically profitable businesses” that are student-run in order to better position them to be self-sustaining ventures,
The businesses selected for incubation are provided with 12 months of “real life experiences, mentorship, advise, workspace, linkages to resources and funding” that enables them to develop into companies that both banks and venture capitalists would feel confident investing large sums of money in.
The students are taught various topics such as for-profit strategies, customer service and product launches, financial projections among others that enable them to lay the foundation for successful companies and gain the confidence of investors.
A combination of class sessions, as well as one on one coaching sessions with the instructor, Mr. Scott Bellows, ensures that both the general information and tailor-made content is passed to the student in a manner in which they are able to fully understand and translate into the building and growing of their business.
This year, the spring semester saw USIU’s Chandaria School of Business, in conjunction with the Colorado State University, USAID, NCIIA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sponsor the program, which has been running in conjunction with the Global Social Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE) postgraduate certificate students.
Starting May, during the Summer semester, the African Youth Trust will also work with the program to ensure that the participants have an all round mentorship experience that better prepares them for life as an entrepreneur, showing them how they can use their businesses to positively impact their society and those around them.