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What we do.
The African Innovation Prize (AIP) aims to spur a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship amongst African university students in 3 key ways;
- Teaching the skills of business and enterprise through tailored training programs
- Running regional and national business plan competitions with seed funding prizes to transform ideas into enterprises
- Establishing an ongoing mentor-mentee program linking local entrepreneurs with students who have excelled in our business plan competitions
Why we do it.
Entrepreneurship is at the heart of every country's story of development. Students and young people represent the future on which a nation's development, growth and participation in the global economy are dependent. In many African countries where the paradigm of wealth creation has been largely extractive, a move from extracting value to creating value is needed to move countries towards models of responsible business and long term sustainable growth and development.
Start up and growth.
In 2010, AIP was piloted in the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in Rwanda, becoming the country’s first business plan competition aimed at University students. Despite recognition that business creation can play a key role in economic development, there is minimal exposure to enterprise concepts in Rwandan Universities. AIP seeks to fill this gap. We have since expanded to operate in 3 Rwandan Universities, reaching 20,000 students. Alongside the business plan competition, we run training workshops and a mentoring program to enable students to further develop their ventures. Central to our innovation is the commitment to use and support local talent - our training and mentoring is tailored to local contexts and delivered by local business people. AIP is looking to expand into Sierra Leone and Nigeria, with long term plans to scale to become a pan-African initiative.
The power of enterprise.
Our program encourages students to see enterprise initiatives not just as an income source, but as a cornerstone to development.In this way they can make a wider contribution to their communities, growing their region to prosperity. We believe this is the most strategic way to create sustainable, long-term growth.