In the summer of 2009, inspired by President Kagame’s lecture, AIP’s founding Trustees visited a number of higher education institutions in the country’s capital Kigali. Despite a commitment to stimulating economic growth, prospects in business and entrepreneurship for University graduates in Rwanda are little within University curricula. It was this experience that provided the final catalyst for the launch of the African Innovation Prize in Rwanda.
In December 2008, the Rwandan President Paul Kagame delivered a public policy lecture at the University of Cambridge. He spoke of a country committed to moving forward, moving upwards and realizing its’ potential as an emerging economy in the African region. Importantly, he believed that “models of trade, not traditional aid” were the means by which Rwanda would heal its economic, political, ethnic and psychological scars and move forward as one country committed to making for itself, a better future. He ended with an open invitation to students to visit Rwanda and form their own views of the country today.
Rwanda has made tremendous progress over the last two decades and has benefited from rapid economic growth, leading to a large reduction in poverty. Even though the country is becoming more educated, and we are helping university students to learn world-class skills, with an increasing number of university graduates each year, the current job market is unable to absorb the talented young people who are gradating to the workforce.
Mission and Social Impact
Stimulating and supporting university entrepreneurship in Africa
African universities with vibrant entrepreneurship culture.
Our primary purpose is to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of students in Africa by providing them with the training and seed funding they require to establish successful enterprises.
We, therefore, measure our impact and collect metrics across three key areas:
To stimulate university entrepreneurship in Africa
Number of partner universities participating in business plan competition
Number and quality of business plan entrants
Number of attendees to training events
Number of successfully established student entrepreneurship clubs
To allow students to become investment-ready entrepreneurs
Number of entrepreneurs that receive further investment within one year of winning competition
Number of successfully registered companies
To strengthen the African private sector and provide more employment opportunities for graduates
Number of companies and job opportunities created by the services we provide
African Innovation Prize (AIP) is a UK registered non-profit organisation