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Teaching students to be social entrepreneurs

By | January 26th 2011

By Michael Oriedo

Strathmore University’s Business School has teamed up with John Hopkins Carey Business School of US to train students on social entrepreneurship skills.

The program involves training students on how they can come up with business ideas that help solve society’s problems.

In the program, students undertaking a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) have visited the country to learn from Kenya’s social entrepreneurs.

"They will interact with Chief Executive Officers of partnering institutions so that they learn from their experiences. It is a way of making them turn perceived problems into business opportunities," says Emmanuel Opati, an officer at Carey Business School (CBS).

Recently, the students met with various CEOs who included Dr Sam Thenya of Nairobi Women’s Hospital and Dr Julius Kisia of Kenya Red Cross Society.

The managers shared their experiences with the students, outlining how they are running their organisations to meet society’s goals.

Other partnering institutions include Upper Hill Eye and Laser Centre (UHEAL) and Juhudi Kilimo, an agricultural institution based in Kericho.

Developing countries

The students are attached to the institutions where they get opportunities to work with the managers in real and challenging contexts, says Prof. Isaac Megbolugbe of CBS.

"They learn how to identify a problem and come up with an innovative solution to solve it," Megbolugbe says.

Carolyn Nold, a student at Carey Business School says the program has offered her an opportunity to learn how business is done in developing countries.

"We have learned a lot from successful Kenya’s entrepreneurs of how and what drove them to start their businesses," she says.

Nold says the visit to Kenya has opened her mind.

"It has made me have a liberal mind as an entrepreneur, be able to work with minimal resources and learn Kenyan cultures," she says.

The Global MBA program, according to Opati was started to train managers who have impact beyond borders of their countries.

Kenya is among four countries, which students from John Hopkins are visiting. Other nations include Rwanda, India and Peru. This is the first time the school is collaborating with Strathmore.






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