Sage Kenya: Promoting Entrepreneurship Where it Matters the Most

Posted April 7, 2010 from Kenya

SAGE Kenya is a country chapter of the Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship, a global community of teenage entrepreneurs sharing a common purpose. Started in 2009, Sage Kenya’s mission is to help create the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders whose innovations and social enterprises address the world’s major unmet needs.

Much of Sage Kenya’s work is currently within Western Kenya preparing students for success in college and in the competitive global community by linking them to role models from Maseno and Great Lakes Universities.

SAGE Kenya has also worked with high schools within Kisumu East and West District to inculcate the culture of entrepreneurship among students by assisting them to set up model entrepreneurial projects.

The organization also has a mentorship programme working with university and polytechnics to assign one to two student mentors to each high school to assist participating schools to prepare for district competitions. This opportunity provides the students with a platform to develop their problem solving, opportunity-seeking and informed risk-taking entrepreneurial acumen that will be of use in starting their own commercial or social ventures in the future.

Current projections are that SAGE Kenya will be instrumental in creating between 100 to 400 more new entrepreneurial ventures annually.

During a recent competition, students from various schools presented ventures that included:

* Agriculture: a solar anti-ripening machine made from local materials such as polythene bags. * Health: a student design team presented a demonstration kit that educates the youth on the effect of nicotine to the lungs. This model is now being used by the Drug Abuse Campaign in Kenya. * Technology: a solar water purifier has been developed . * Food security: a Hydroponic Cultivation system has been developed using designed Shade nets that use old mosquito nets and local tree poles that reduce the cost of pest control among farmers. * E-Government: some student have developed a central database system that can be adopted by the Government to have all the government operations in and a central system. * Eco-Energy: using Jatropha as alternative source of energy, some students have developed a model plantation for a jatropha seed nursery. * Recycling: some students have started to sell curio product made from water hyacinth which is a nuisance from the Lake Victoria.

The timing for a programmes like SAGE Kenya cannot be better, and the organization is lobbying the government to make the education system more relevant and rigorous whilst at the same time promoting an entrepreneurial culture amongst students.

Indeed SAGE Kenya’s approach is a “pattern-changing idea to practical innovation”. The emphasis on the practical, scalable and cost-effective shows that it is a progressive organization that teaches students to create sustainable profits and more jobs for their peers.

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