11 Jul 2023
Youth unemployment is on exponential rise in Rwanda, especially among university graduates. Given the scarcity of jobs vis-à-vis the big number of graduates each year ; a sense of urgency is to equip students to embrace entrepreneurship as their #1 career option upon graduation.
Through its Office of Career Guidance Entrepreneurship and Employability Services, the University of Rwanda’s College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary (UR-CAVM) nurtures Rwanda’s job creators, who not only contribute to the country’s job creation targets, but also innovate the agriculture sector – which is indeed the backbone of Rwanda’s sustainable development, contributing 70% of jobs and 33% of the nation’s GDP.
Provisions in place include college-wide entrepreneurial talent mapping and nurturing trough training, prototyping and product validation, and further coaching, mentorship, connection to sources of seed-capital and markets. In addition, selected high potential projects are incubated on-campus to access top-notch business development services and support offered in collaboration with various partners.
In the last year 2022/2023, the college mapped and supported 80 innovation projects by students, and 19 projects followed a world-class action-learning entrepreneurship skills program known as Startup Labs Training & Coaching from June 2022 to June 2023 under collaboration with UR Partners (Trainers - Envisage who provides the model and Wadhwani Foundation who provided the program).
This practical, hands-on program enabled students to actually start their ventures and build them as they progress through the program by full benefit of UR-CAVM Incubator services.
It’s not all ! Currently, the entire UR-CAVM community is proud and celebrating the RWANDA DRONE INNOVATION project nurtured on our very own Campuse of Nyagatare ; as it won and bagged out first prizes in the competition of IMALI Agribusiness Challenge this June2023.
UR-CAVM Incubator played a pivotal role in our success. Out of 1,400 initial applicants, top 50 teams were selected for this prestigious competition including Rwanda Drone Innovation. With the support of UR-CAVM Incubator, Drone Innovation Team refine its project and get preparing for the finals Competition. Through the Coaching and mentorship ; pre-pitching and invaluable support in guidance, team members were equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the challenge.
With the backing of UR-CAVM Incubator , they were able to develop and implement Rwanda Drone Innovation, revolutionizing farming practices and making a meaningful contribution to sustainable agriculture in Rwanda ; and won the first prize of 10 millions RWF @ IMALI Agribusiness Challenge. At the same day, the team won 6 Milllions Rwandan Francs from the Competion organized by NIRDA.
The Journey to win was a testament to the team’s determination, innovation, and unwavering commitment to revolutionize the agricultural sector.
UR-CAVM We Are !