SIANI’s funding to the expert group led by the Agripreneurship Alliance is now ending. Since 2018, the expert group has designed and disseminated a blended course, Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness, that has supported young agripreneurs across several African countries to develop skills in agribusiness. Charlotte Ajiko, 22, from Uganda, and Hugues Irenge, 25*, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are two alumni of the course. They have shared their experiences and perspectives on what the course has meant to them with SIANI intern Marika Kronberg.
Gained knowledge and skills
Charlotte and Hugues took the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness course in 2021, Charlotte through Makerere University Business School (MUBS) and Hugues through Université Officielle de Bukavu. They are both grateful for the programme and what it has brought to them regarding benefits and opportunities. “For me, it was the training I dreamed of having,” Hugues declares. According to him, the best was learning to develop a solid business plan. Charlotte agrees and mentions how the course has opened network connections for her. Via social media and WhatsApp groups, she can get in touch with other students who have participated in the training at various institutions in Uganda and learn from them.
Global opportunities opened
All participants receive a certificate at the completion of the course. Moreover, the participant with the best agribusiness idea is awarded a start-up prize of 1000 USD. Charlotte was the award winner of her cohort, and she relates how valuable this has been to her. In 2020, she applied for the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU), a year-round programme that helps develop the next generation of leaders and social entrepreneurs by providing accepted undergraduate and graduate students with training, mentorship, and networking opportunities. The application process is highly selective, and considers what candidates are doing to impact their community concerning important challenges. That time she was not accepted. However, in 2022, she applied again and was finally admitted. “I had a certificate from the course and could show that I had achieved something, being the award winner with the best agribusiness idea,” Charlotte proudly declares.