Students Start Businesses as STEP Programme Comes to a Close

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STEP

The closing ceremony for the Students Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion(STEP) took place at the Kenyatta University Conference Centre(KUCC) on the 4th of September 2015 from 9 am going late into the afternoon.STEP,an initiative of Kenyatta University and the University of Leuphana,Germany is a program that trains young people on entrepreneurship skills and has been running in Kenyatta University for three years now.

The beneficiaries were imparted with vital skills such as how to acquire business capital,marketing their products,keeping books of account and managing debt.To increase the practicability of the course each group of students was given a loan of $ 100 as starting capital for businesses of their choice. As one of the STEP beneficiaries get it from the horses mouth that the 3 months training had a positive impact on our lives.

My group ‘Alarean enterprises’ for example ventured into food business.We sold soft drinks and snacks around school. Our high was during the first week of the semester when first years reported to school in September 2015.Being new at the school they could not trace their way to the tuckshops or any eatery joints.This worked to our advantage as the large number of first years and their parents provided a ready market for our products. We made double profits!To cut the long story short our group managed to repay the loan and each of us pocketed a handsome amount of shillings.

The closing ceremony was held to asses the gains of the STEP .The chief guest was Eng.Gerald Githinji,Deputy Governor Kiambu county.Other dignitaries in attendance included the university’s Vice Chancellor Professor Olive Mugenda,Deputy vice chancellor ,Professor John Okumu,DVC administration Dr.Muindi ,deputy governors for Vihiga,Nyamira and Elgeyo Marakwet counties as well as representatives from Leuphana University and UNESCO.

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Eng.Gerald Githinji applauded Professor Olive Mugenda for her commitment to churn out all round individuals from the Institution.He assured the young people present that there are numerous opportunities to be exploited but warned that these opportunities are not obvious. Young people need the right set of skills, knowledge and attitude to manipulate these opportunities. This according to Eng.Gerald is through guidance from the older generations. Young people have energy that needs to be tapped for the development of any nation.If this is not done then we will witness all manner of youth related crimes and social evils.He pointed a case of radicalization of jobless youths into terrorism.

Kiambu was the first county to roll out a STEP program for its youth dubbed STEP 4 Y(STEP for youth).This with a bid to engage the youth positively through imparting them with business skills to increase their participation in economic development.

A number of us think that there are a lot of jobs at the county level. Well this is not case as affirmed by the deputy governors present at the ceremony.So what next for the young people graduating biannually from campus? A change of mindset.Do not aim to be educated to get a white collar job.Aim to be a job creator.What world would it be if each graduate employed atleast 10 persons?Young people the ball is in our hands.Let us create the world we want to see.

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