Two young Entrepreneurs from the Private Sector Federation chamber of young entrepreneurs, Wednesday November 8, 2017, shared their experience with University of Kigali students on how they developed their ideas into business success.
This was during a Public Lecture organized by the PSF Chamber of young entrepreneurs in partnership with University of Kigali through the offices of the Dean of Students and Career Development. The lecture whose theme was “From ideas to success”focused on breaking barriers inhibiting young people to run their own businesses and invest in themselves.
However its main objectives were among others; to motivate UoK Students by showing them available opportunities like projects, investment, business opportunities within the private sector of Rwanda, share success stories of young people in doing business in order to motivate the students to stay proactive and maintain a high degree of persistence to succeed in the business sector and to provide a platform for young entrepreneurs to network and build alliances with university students among others.
UoK students listening to testimonies from two young entrepreneurs: Jean Marie Habiyambere of Cow Horns Kigali and Samantha Ahirwe of Posh Creative at the main campus in Kacyiru-Kigali.
In his welcome remarks, on behalf of the University, Mr. Charles Kamuru, the Director of Communication and Public Relations and acting Dean of Students thanked the Private Sector Federation for having expressed interest to come and give a lecture to our students on how they can become future entrepreneurs.
‘’ We value this lecture so much because the testimonies that will be given by these young entrepreneurs will motivate our students on how to develop business after completion of their studies. Indeed this is the right journey to job creation instead of job seeking,’’ said Mr. Kamuru, also a Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the University.
Samantha Ahirwe of Posh Creative (standing) flanked by Mr. Kamuru Charles, the Director of Communication and Public Relations and acting Dean of Students and Jean Marie Habiyaremye, a young entrepreneur, during her testimony on how she developed her ideas into entrepreneurship success.
Addressing the students, the two young entrepreneurs spoke about their journey and success in doing business. Samantha Ahirwe told the students that upon completion of her studies at the university, she chose not to look for employment but to create her own job.
‘’ I realized it will be hard for me to get a job and I decided to start with small money, a tiny workshop for shoes and hand bags. It was not easy but with my ideas and support from PSF, I can tell you that my workshop is now big and about 30 people are employed. We even participated in the recent concluded trade fair in Rwanda. I would advise you also to take the same direction and it could lead you to success in your life,’’ said the young entrepreneur.
In his testimony, Jean Marie Habiyaremye, who makes jewellery out of cow horns revealed to the students how he turned his fortunes from a street boy to business success through putting into use cow horns into jewellery that is now on high demand not only in Rwanda but even in the outside markets.
“I was a street child and one Japanese woman who was working in Rwanda picked me and taught me how to make products from horns. My advantage was that people were throwing away horns and with no cost, I could pick them and make out of them very nice jewellery that is now liked by many. I participated in the recent trade fair and was among the best awarded exhibitors,’’ said Habiyambere whose products are currently receiving orders from Asia and Europe.
In their interventions, various students were excited by the achievements of the young entrepreneurs and expressed interest to visit them to learn more about their experience.
At the same lecture, Agness Murebwayire, the University career development officer reminded the students that the job market was challenging with few existing jobs to accommodate all graduates from Rwanda. ‘’ I would advise you to create your own jobs. Such a lecturer is an opportunity for you to understand that you can start from almost nothing but later become a successful entrepreneur,’’ said the University Officer charged with advising students on career development.