Entrepreneurship has been quoted as the answer to unemployment, entrepreneurship has also been said to the answer to some of the biggest challenges facing humanity today.

Facebook and other social networks made it possible for people to push their ideas out there, – if you think of countries where the media is state-controlled, Facebook and Twitter have made it possible to get the alternative voice. Distribution of content is easiest today more than ever, thanks to entrepreneurs.

Amazing products such as Range and Onesha are making it possible for people to earn money online. Range is on a mission to democratize eCommerce to make it possible for small players to easily get online and trade at a cost of as low as Ksh. 1,000 while Onesha is working with young creatives and connecting them with people who need creative services.

Learn more about Range from Carrie Kaumbulu

Range and Onesha are a few examples of ventures founded by students in Kenya. They’ve proved it’s possible to attend classes 8 AM – 5 PM, and in the evening busy focusing on developing products, working on financial projections, building customer trust, working on marketing campaigns, mobilizing resources, perfecting their pitch etc.

Entrepreneurship is a sacrifice, and as Simon Sinek puts it, it’s about the mission and purpose, the problem that your business intends to solve is the focus. A good friend of mine Mwalugha Bura constantly said, “No one will pay you for not solving their problem,” when designing Campus Radio pitch and another idea we had on renewable energy designed for Kibera.

Organizations out here have come out to support entrepreneurs because they understand the value entrepreneurs have in the global ecosystem, iBiz, iHub, Chandaria Innovation Center, C4Dlab, Fablab, Nairobi Innovation Week, Global Student Entrepreneur Awards among others are designed for students intentionally, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we grab these opportunities. The 4 years (or 5, 6) in uni are not only designed to get the degree but also get experiences, and an opportunity to experiment with your imaginations and creativity.

Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

Past Winners of GSEA

In this piece, I’ll focus on the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.

Any entrepreneur out there, or young person I talk to, all have one thing holding them back – Capital, and we’ve dedicated most of the time to focus on the pitch rather than the problem – a story for another day, I’ll probably talk about this on Yellow Tape with my mentor and business coach Robert Yawe.

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university. Nominees compete against their peers from around the world in a series of local and/or national competitions in hopes to qualify for GSEA Finals.

GSEA is designed to help the creatives and problem solvers who are sacrificing their energy and time – their sleep to build solutions to make the world a better place. Through the competition, you get a chance to win $ 20,000.00 which is approximately Ksh. 2,000,000.00 or above.

Additionally, it allows you the opportunity to build a network with your future partners. At times, we don’t value this and we think it’s not important, but think of it this way – walking into a pitch and the CEO of that company is a friend of yours you met at an event. Or you walk into a job interview and the HR is the person you helped carry his/her bag, the power is in the network and GSEA is allowing you that space to meet people with the same interests.

Criteria of GSEA

GSEA has an easy and simple eligibility criteria, i.e. you must be either an undergraduate or graduate college/university student with a company operating for at least 6 months with at least $500 in generated revenue which is approximately Ksh. 50,000. Learn more about the criteria on the GSEA website.

Steps To Apply

There are 5 simple steps through the GSEA process, the first step is what I mentioned above, which is the criteria tick that off.

Step 2: Apply and compete in a local competition. Follow this link and sign up, which is as easy as creating a Facebook account. Learn more about steps 3 to 5 here.

The deadline is quickly approaching, quickly follow the link and sign up, and you might be the next Bernard Momanyi, the founder at Onesha who won the 2016 competition.

Feature image courtesy of StackPreneur article on 7 Tips to be a successful student entrepreneurs.

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