While an entrepreneurship journey sounds not for everyone, cultivation and training in such areas can lead to the advent of many such characters.
The PAUWES Entrepreneurship Day was marked on 20th May 2017 dubbed PED2017. The day was graced by speakers from all over Africa among them Imad Mesdoua, Takunda Chingonzo, Lorna Rutto, Peter Nawa, Dr Mohamed Bouri, Iman Malek and Walid Medjati. Also present were over 200 students from Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) and University of Tlemcen. The objective was to inspire African youths and also launch the newly formed PAUWES Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club.
The presentations kicked off with Walid Medjati, Co- Founder Mind Club of the University of Tlemcen who stressed on the need for self-awareness for upcoming entrepreneurs. Lorna Rutto, Founder and Proprietor of EcoPost based in Kenya stressed on the need to create impact with business start-ups as she shared her start-up journey in turning waste plastics into fencing posts. The take home lesson was “Waste is not waste until it’s wasted”.
Imad Mesdoua, a renowned politicy analyst for the MENA region coined the phrase “See a problem, fix it” and delved into the need for entrepreneurs to solve existing problems using feasible and scalable means. Takunda Chingonzo from Zimbabwe who is the Founder of The TechVillage insisted on the need for passion in entrepreneurship and the need to take up ICTs as a tool to increase productivity in startups. He also expounded on what it means to be young in Africa.
Peter Nawa inspired by “The Alchemist” presented his journey to publishing his book “HIRED – Find the Job, Keep the Job and Quit the Job”. A journey with a vision and clear objective and a true representation from which upcoming entrepreneurs can draw inspiration from. Iman Malek represented female upcoming entrepreneurs from Maghreb region with her innovation AQUASafe which is a tool for remote monitoring of water quality. Her presentation showed the need to integrate different disciplines in solving local problems.
Youthink Club of University of Tlemcen was also represented and was happy to partner with PAUWES Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club for intercultural exchange and appreciation. Dr. Mohammed Bouri presented a robot arm innovation that he had been working on with a team for more than 15 years demonstrating the need for persistence and consistency in innovation.
Launching of the club
One of the outstanding highlights of the day was the launch of PAUWES Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club. The Director of PAUWES, Prof. Abdellatif Zerga spearheaded the launch of the Club. He honored the Club Founders and members and provided a certificate for the commencement of the Club making it a success.
On presenting a short summary of the Club, George Kiambuthi (Interim President and Co-Founder of the Club) said, “The meaning of this is what we have started. Starting further means that we can choose the direction, the speed and the destination. Our vision to create business is very much alive and our mission is clear, let us develop ideas, replicate and actualize them in writing and share with each other for positive criticism. On this road that we have taken, our commitment and persistence will be put to test each day”.
Elevator Pitching Competition
Young aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators were given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to potential investors. Five selected students presented astounding and stunning business ideas. Their ideas proved to be viable, profitable with enormous capacity to change the way Africa perceives the future. It was a proof of a golden bright future that lies ahead in the ingenuity and thoughtfulness of PAUWES students.