At the end of 2015, some of the Lapid Leaders went to Kigali, Rwanda on a Study Mission. They met with various government officials including the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and ICT. One of the things that the government officials highlighted, was that they admire the strong entrepreneurial culture in Kenya. Many young Kenyans (including many college students) are eager to become entrepreneurs if given the needed support in an enabling environment!
At Lapid Leaders, we believe that there still is a lot of entrepreneurial untapped potential in Africa’s young population. The Lapid Leaders Experience therefore includes a highly practical entrepreneurship program that seeks to activate and accelerate the entrepreneurial skills of as many college students as possible.
Worldwide, students are known to be very resourceful in terms of their creative minds. There are many great ideas which have been generated by college students across the world and which turned out to be very successful. From their humble student hostels, these businesses have managed to create something that the entire world is able to relate to. Our goal is to make this world-story, a prevalent story in Africa as well.
If you are looking to launch a startup business while still in college, you can borrow a leaf from this 4 successful entrepreneurs who did not stop at anything until when they realized their dreams.
Did you know that Bill Gates was a student at Harvard when he founded Microsoft? Childhood friends, Paul Allen and Bill Gates, who are also the co-founders of Microsoft started working on ‘Microsoft’ in 1975. The pair were computer geeks in an age when any access to computers was hard to come by. Allen and Gates lived and breathe in their school’s computer room. What began in college is now a world-class enterprise.
Mark Zuckerberg has to be a part of the list. Mark Zuckerberg, founded Facebook while studying psychology at Harvard University. A keen computer programmer, Mark had already developed a number of social-networking websites for fellow students, including Coursematch, which allowed users to view people taking their degree, and Facemash, where you could rate people’s attractiveness. In February 2004 Mark launched “The facebook”, as it was originally known. Within 24 hours, 1,200 Harvard students had signed up, and after one month, over half of the undergraduate population had a profile. The rest as they say is history.
Yahoo! had humble beginnings with founders Jerry Yang and David Filostarting it as a pass time experiment. In 1994, both Jerry and David were pursuing graduation in electrical engineering from Stanford University. They created a website called ‘Jerry’s guide to the World Wide Web’. They renamed the site as ‘yahoo.com’ in January 1995. Yahoo! became an instant success as it received close to a million views in a short time from its official launch.
Matt Mullenweg is the founding developer of WordPress, a free blogging tool. He started the venture while he was a student at University of Houston.
The list of start-ups that were started by college students is endless. The success of these college students has been partly attributed to the quality of education that they were offered, a highly practical education culture that required the students to experiment on an ongoing basis.
Africa unfortunately has adopted a highly theoretical education experience. This has been attributed to the industrialization and colonial independence. During the colonial period and subsequent periods, many education systems in Africa adjudicated experiential education in favor of lecture, memorization and regurgitation of facts. This, if not corrected soon, could cost the continent an opportunity to raise Africa’s youth into the entrepreneurs that will set up the next big start-ups.
With this in mind, Lapid Leaders Africa, has adopted a highly experiential approach to the Entrepreneurship Program that forms part of the Lapid Leaders Experience. This has allowed students who initially thought that they did not have an entrepreneurial mindset, to quickly realize that they too can be entrepreneurs. Some of these students are now in the process of developing the Entrepreneurial Projects that they worked on in the classes, into sustainable businesses. You too can begin the journey towards a successful entrepreneurial career; all you need to do is sign up to be part of the next cohort of Lapid Leaders.