7+ Theses: Response from the Policy Forum

Based on the report by Mary Hooker of GESCI.

The seven theses on youth entrepreneurship that have emerged from GESCI-AKE Creative Media Venture have been featured in this blog in two posts: One describing the findings; another highlighting some expert reflections on the theses

The theses were also discussed at the AKE-GESCI 2017 Policy Forum on the 29th of March, 2017. The purpose was to converse about the critical link between skills development/ learning, innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise development and how a supportive policy environment is a requirement for national digitally-driven skills development. The Forum included demos, expert discussions, as well as an intensive teamwork – workshop session on based on the seven theses. In addition, an eight thesis was added to the list, that of employment and active job creation.

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 14.19.30

This post is a summary of the essential policy suggestions emerging from the workshop and reflecting the theses.  Those insights highlight that, in fact, two theses seem to be the core foundations that define other aspects essential to youth entrepreneurship. Those are flexibility and collaboration.

For instance, it was noted that training needs to transform from a “course format” to an ongoing support that is flexible and responds to the growth and needs of the young entrepreneurs. It was also noted that the Hub needs to be an agile space, transforming as a response to different needs of the student, members, industry, and technology changes.

As for collaboration, it is important to note that the multi-stakeholder Forum was found highly relevant to one’s industry and work by almost every participant. The attendees of the Forum highlighted several forms of support to young entrepreneurs  that they would find beneficial for their company or industry, ranging from internships and mentorships to providing case studies and sponsorships. This is perhaps one of the most clear indicators that the GESCI-AKE model is working: It is approaching training the way that resonates with the ultimate “end-user”: Potential employers and clients.

Theses 1 & 2: Flexible Education & Context

Contextual, flexible approach to learning was made concrete by several practical suggestions. Perhaps the most tangible one the concept of project-based, problem- or opportunity-focused targeted projects as learning environments. But what should the opportunities or challenges to be solved be? For this, collaboration between sectors and stakeholders is a must so that the opportunities and problems can truly reflect reality. But what is needed even more fundamentally is a mindset change and advocacy for alternative educational-biz oriented models. Peer-to-peer learning, problem-solving, internships and mentorships need both financial as well as ideological support.

Theses 3 & 4: Digital and Physical Space and Entrepreneurship

Curriculum geared towards, and informed by ,the needs of the market mean that education includes life skills, interdisciplinary education, as well as access to digital tools. But only consultation and learning from policy, industry, research and practitioner chains can inform investment in ICT and new models and spaces for capacity building and training: Is the space reflecting what is happening in the industry? It is hard to imagine that any hub or organization could independently be able to create such a space, so, again, education and Business regulatory frameworks oriented towards start-ups key.

Theses 5 & 6: Collaboration and Finding a Niche

Collaboration is a science and an art form. Very few teams work creatively and smoothly without specific frameworks. Hence, education for youth entrepreneurship needs to include models of collaboration, projects,  and processes (including innovation ideas, prototyping, marketing, mentoring, partnerships etc.). In order for this to be “mainstreamed”,  new policies supporting upscaling and disseminating working models of edu-biz capacity building models (like the AKE model and its niche focus on Cultural and Creative Media industry) must be set in place.

Theses 7 & 8: Continuous Support, Employment & Job Creation

The shift  from “once-off-training” to continuous support systems for youth training and retraining outreach via models and labs linked to industry sectors needs leaders, leadership, in order to happen. One option suggested is a “value chain” of training, envisioned in the policy form as follows:

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 6.55.59 PM

Advertisements

GESCI-AKE Policy Forum 29 March 2017: Live Blog Here!

Welcome to the 2017 GESCI-AKE Policy Forum!

“An Inclusive Policy Environment for Youth Skills and Enterprise Development”

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 3.49.37 AM

#GESCIAKEPolicyForum2017
#YouthSkills
#EnterpriseDevelopment

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 4.02.09 PM

Opening Remarks, Jerome Morrissey, CEO, GESCI — on GESCI’s replicable model of #Youthskills and #EntrepriseDevelopment

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 3.52.34 AM

7 Startups Introduced!

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 3.58.05 AM

  • Artari Kreations
  • Verb House Productions
  • Boisch Enterprises
  • Ioniccode Software developers
  • Makossirri Entertainment
  • KIWO films
  • Tripple Touch Entertainment

Senior Youth Advisor , Directorate of Human Resources Science and Technology at African Union Commission, Nicholas Ouma:  

Innovation Ecosystem: What policies do we need to support cultural ecosystem?

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 4.23.19 AM

Functioning ecosystem: a nexus of policies, enterprises, and tools! Strategies can be shared and they can work all over the continent!

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 4.37.01 AM

Managing Partner at Chanzo Capital, an Angel Investor and developer of new businesses, Erick Osiakwan:

Talent is plentiful, opportunities not as much. The African context is special. Mobile leapfrogging is a major factor! It will affect every sector of the economy.

Young entrepreneurs play a central role in identifying problems and solving them! We need to create a net effect for Africa! We understand the challenges of our context.

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 4.44.33 AM.png

What is your specific niche? talent? specialty? Who is going to use your product? How to create value? What kind of investor do your want to engage with? Find someone who understands your field? Raising $: Don’t wait until the last minute! Also: Prepare well when you are meeting investors!

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 5.05.20 AM

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 5.38.50 AM

Mary Hooker, GESCI: What happens when education, industry and policy design come together? Can GESCI Living Lab research of 3 years give some solutions?

[Presentation of the GESCI-AKE Living Lab].

How can we be sure that we INNOVATE with technology? Are we replicating — just adding new tech to do the very same? How do we ensure ongoing learning? –

Breakout sessions meet! Groups will discuss the relevance and impact of each of the GESCI-AKE thesis

Group 1: (moderator: Kamau Wanyoike)

  1. No One Solution, Or, Context Matters: SWOT of the Market Place
  2. Entrepreneurship Cannot Be Cloned: Education Must Be Flexible

Group 2 (moderator: Jane Muchiri -Ministry of ICT )

  1. Everything is Entrepreneurial: Teach Social Business and Communication
  2. Find a Niche: Cultural Competence Matters for GESCI

Group 3 (moderator: Ann Wanjuhi – Nelig group)

  1. Digital Matters, But So Does Physical Space
  2. No Success Without Collaboration: Policy, Industry, Individuals

Group 4 (moderator: Nicholas Ouma – African Union Commission)

  1. PS: Support Should Continue “Forever”
  2. Employment and Job Creation
Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 14.19.30

Snapshots from the Policy Forum

Inspiring stories from regional entrepreneurs:

Betty Kituyi from Fundi Bots (Uganda) an organization applying the concept of robotics training both in and out of African schools. Fundi Bots aims to create and inspire a new generation of Africans who are well equipped for technology oriented careers and who can be agents of change in their communities.

Wanjuhi Njoroge from Nelig Group (Kenya) a communications consulting company offering branding, online marketing and design to develop and manage organizations online and offline presence.

Silumesii Maboshe from BongoHive (Zambia) an innovation community and a co-working space offering aspiring enterpreneurs support for learn the basics of accounting, market research and running a business.

Young entrepreneurs need:

  • concrete support and scaffolds
  • diverse sources of inspiration (out of their comfort zones)
  • help in finding the right team
  • assurance that they are contributing (and evidence)
  • a safe space to fail… and learn
  • inclusive opportunities (=policies in place)

Thanks to everyone that participated and shared their insights!

To conclude and close the live blog of this policy forum, we share with you a bit of the last diagram we made for GESCI-AKE model.

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 22.46.31

Best,

Minna & Andrea