12 February 2013

Rwanda: Tourism College Launches Business Incubation Centre

An initiative that will see students and graduates set up income-generating projects and create jobs has been launched by Rwanda Tourism University College (RTUC). The event took place at the school campus in Kicukiro in Kigali on Friday.

Dubbed "RTUC Entrepreneurship Centre", it will spearhead entrepreneurship and enterprise development curriculum of the university, officials said.

"We have set up a business incubation unit targeting our students, as well as graduates so that they can acquire skills to be able to start their own businesses and create employment for others," said Zulfat Mukarubega, the founder and legal representative of the college.

The development is also expected to help in integrating entrepreneurship studies in all the modules at the college.

The entrepreneurship centre will also equip students and graduates with business skills to enable practice what they have studied.

Mukarubega explained that the initiative was in line with the government's move to ensure that schools and universities produce job-creators than job-seekers.

The initiative is seen as a major tool against unemployment, especially among graduates.

"We also consider changing student's mindset from job-seeking to job creation. Although it may take time to achieve this, we are sure that it will work," Mukarubega said.

Although lack of start-up capital has always been seen as one of the factors that hinder graduates from starting their own businesses, experts argued that the capacity to operate business overrides others factors.

Emmanuel Ruhengeri, a third year business student at the college, said the skills acquired would build student's capacity to come up with project proposals to access funding.

"Yes, there is a problem of capital, but there are cases where graduates have failed to come up with convincing project proposals to be financially supported. This is one of the things we expect from the centre," Ruhengeri said.

Students were optimistic that the entrepreneurship centre would help acquire managerial and technical skills as well as empowering them to advocate for better business environment in the country.

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