Empowering the Youth with Business Skills

Prof. Odhiambo presents a certificate to Katharina, a Physics student from Canada, during the graduation

Prof. Odhiambo presents a certificate to Katharina, a Physics student from Germany, during the graduation

Friday May 23, 2014 will remain arched in Franklin Moturi’s memory. Waking up to a biting cold, Moturi rushed to the Common Lecture Building, room 102 for a ceremony that he has passionately sought for weeks now. He was among 30 graduands drawn for JKUAT, Daystar University and University of Western  Ivey Business School, who successfully completed of a three week course on business decision making with cases.

Sitting among business majors, Moturi who is a second year Actuarial Science student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology obviously felt odd. But he knew what he wanted: practical business skills that would help him launch his career. And he graduated with a distinction, a feat that many of the business majors could not register.

‘When I heard the call to enroll for the course, I knew my time had come.  I am happy I made the choice. I feel motivated to go out there and start agribusiness,’ recounts Moturi. ‘The programme equipped us with operational, management, leadership and market analysis skills,’

Moturi’s adds that the course enabled him to consult the instructors on the actual business model he intends to roll out, with encouraging feedback. He is now ready to invest his savings into a business that he believes will thrive.

Franklin Moturi (Second left) with colleagues soon after graduating (1)

Franklin Moturi (Second left) with colleagues soon after graduating 

Like Moturi, the other graduands were unanimous the programme enriched their academic training, illuminating the nuances of starting and running a successful business.

Aalum Jaffer, Lead Instructor for the programme described the Kenyan students as gifted, passionate and motivated, ingredients that he reckoned prop the young business minds for leadership positions in the industry.

‘They have also been inducted on SWOT analysis and writing of business cases, which allow them to build businesses from scratch,’ reckoned Jaffer.

While presiding over the graduation ceremony, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, challenged the students to actualize their knowledge by coming up with business ventures and create jobs for their contemporaries.

‘Besides empowering you to start your own ventures; the course also makes you globally competitive. Be brave and change the world,’ nudged Prof. Odhiambo.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor announced that JKUAT was keen on actualizing a Centre for Case Study Learning to help foster business innovation in Kenya and beyond.

Graduands follow proceedings during the ceremony

Graduands and instructors follow proceedings during the ceremony

The Business Decision Making with Cases course is an exchange programme jointly mounted by the JKUAT School for Human Resource Development and University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Business School, as part of wider collaboration between the two universities.

It was the third graduation ceremony since the programme was launched in 2011. Moturi advises students to take advantage of the course to foster their marketability and capacity to create viable businesses.

‘Let us make use of the opportunity to earn extra business knowledge besides the mainstream programme. It does not matter which degree you are pursuing, this course counts,’ advises Moturi.

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