Rwanda: Green Hills Students Tussle It Out in Entrepreneurship Challenge

It was a victorious day for a group of three Grade 11 students at Green Hills after they emerged the winners of a social entrepreneurship challenge on Wednesday.

The competition was designed to stir up the spirit of innovation and creativity in high school students.

The contest is the brainchild of a non-profit organisation, Shibuka, which was born out of a University of Westminster (UK) funded student social enterprise project.

The idea, organisers say, is to "give a voice to young Rwandan students to bring forth sustainable ideas as future entrepreneurs to develop their nation."

The students were divided into four groups and tasked to come up with creative ideas about a social impact project.

The students were mentored by young Rwandan entrepreneurs.

From agriculture to art, the four competing teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, in the presence of parents and teachers, on June 24.

One team presented an agricultural gardening concept, while another pitched an idea promoting eucalyptus oil as natural traditional medicine. One of the teams presented an idea about branding and exporting Rwandan tea, with the other pitching a proposal on buying artistic work online.

In the end, the team that came up with an idea around selling artistic work online carried the day.

Romeo Rudaseswa, from the winning team, said, "art is a subject that is despised by many, we felt we needed to highlight its role in society."

"We live in times that demand us to be creative, we can't sit back and wait for white-collar jobs because they are not there. We have to adapt and use our brains and come up with creative ideas," Sneha Negi, another member of the team, added.

Stacy Ikuzo Umuhumuza, also a member of the winning group, added that the challenge taught them to work as a team. "We learn that it's not about getting your point across but sharing and learning from one another, that's how things get done, working together."

The competition had initially been scheduled for last year before it was postponed due to Covid-19. It resumed in January with a total of 15 Grade 11 Green Hills students taking part.

"We wanted to promote teamwork and to showcase how people can come together and create great projects," said Darrell Kofkin, co-founder and programme director of Shibuka.

A group of three Grade 11 students at Green Hills after they emerged the winners of a social entrepreneurship challenge on Wednesday.

A group of winners receives their medals during the event. The students were mentored by young Rwandan entrepreneurs.

The competition was designed to stir up the spirit of innovation and creativity in high school students.

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