Randall Pinkett, the self made millionaire in one chapter of his book 'Campus CEO: The student entrepreneur's guide to launching a multi-million dollar business' emphasized the issue of financing the businesses of student entrepreneurs.
As Randall notes, several universities in the United States and other developed countries of the world are very supportive of student entrepreneurs. Many universities organise annual Business plan competitions in their Campuses in which students of the University present their business ideas and business plans before a committee of well-established, seasoned and experienced business scholars, analysts and venture capitalists who review the students' prospective business plans.
At the end of the day, based on the strengths and prospects of their respective business plans, winners are selected and stand to win cash prizes ranging from $10,000, $20,000, and in some cases, even as much as $100,000 to boost their start-up businesses. For those students who do not win the competition, a category of venture capitalists scout through the Business plan entries, eagerly seeking potential ventures to finance the same. Many big time corporations eventually spring up from these business plan competitions. Elsewhere, venture capitalists consider Universities the best place to find start-up companies that would be the 'Next big thing.'
Do any universities and colleges in Africa support student entrepreneurs, organise business plan competitions and fund student businesses which have mega potential? In the West, universities are eager to support student entrepreneurs and even go out of their way to look for students with exceptional business ideas. Due to this kind of support, many big time corporations have sprung up from dormitories in US campuses.
Apart from the fact that massive corporations are established, the schools where these ventures are established are instantly propelled to world fame.
But how about Universities in Africa- Kenya, Tanzania,
A close friend of mine in
We have such bright student entrepreneurs in Africa. But until African financiers and the self-proclaimed 'Venture capitalists' are easily accessible and listen to student entrepreneurs in our African Universities, Africa may never have its own answers to internationally famed corporations like Google, Yahoo, Ticket Advantage, College Humor and Face book which were all the brainchildren of student entrepreneurs. We need financiers who will believe in and support the dreams of African student entrepreneurs and get those big ideas out of the boxes and put into use to transform our continent.
African student entrepreneurs are equally smart, gifted and visionary. If various African governments support them, world-changing ideas would come from this continent wrongly perceived as poor and lacking innovation. Will the venture capitalists in Africa please stand up?