Case Study: Kenya’s Leap Forward- Creating a Dynamic Youth Entrepreneurship Curriculum

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7 months ago

Kenya’s Vision 2030 underscores the critical role of competitive education, research, and innovation in transforming the nation into a middle-income economy. Despite this, the approach to youth entrepreneurship has been somewhat misaligned, with policies and training programs often developed for, rather than with the youth. This disconnect is evident in the entrepreneurial programs offered by Kenyan universities, which have traditionally been isolated and theory-heavy, lacking practical engagement and real-world relevance. Consequently, graduates often find themselves ill-equipped for startup creation or employability in the entrepreneurial sector.
The Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), in collaboration with KCA University (Kenya) and University of Nottingham (UK), embarked on a transformative journey under the Innovation for African Universities (IAU) Programme. This initiative, funded by the British Council, sought to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship learning and practice, primarily for the youth in Kenya. This case study delves into the multifaceted approach taken to revamp the entrepreneurship curriculum, ensuring it meets the dynamic needs of young entrepreneurs.

Phase 1: Identifying the Gaps

The initial phase involved a meticulous analysis of the existing curriculums offered by KCAU and YEDF. This stage included reviewing similar curriculums and literature, followed by organizing an appreciative inquiry workshop with entrepreneurship trainers from SSA partners. The outcome was a detailed gap analysis in the curriculums, categorizing deficiencies in skills, knowledge, and practical application.

Phase 2: Curriculum Review and Proposal Development

In the second phase, a comprehensive report was drafted, summarizing the findings from Phase 1. This report played a pivotal role in guiding the curriculum review process. The YEDF Entrepreneurship Curriculum Review Workshop, a key activity of this phase, was conducted at Panorama Park Hotel in Naivasha. Facilitated by experts from the University of Nottingham, including Prof. Judy Muthuri, the workshop used the Appreciative Inquiry methodology, inviting inputs from industry players and youth entrepreneurs.

Phase 3: Drafting the Revised Curriculum

The third phase witnessed the drafting of a revised entrepreneurship curriculum for KCA University and a modular-based curriculum for YEDF. These curriculums aimed to train nascent entrepreneurs, incorporating the insights and feedback gathered from the previous phases. YEDF also initiated a pilot program to test the efficacy of the new curriculum.

Phase 4: Validation Workshops

To ensure the relevance and effectiveness of the new curriculum, validation workshops were organized. These workshops involved ecosystem stakeholders and young entrepreneurs, providing a platform to critique and further refine the curriculum. The feedback from these workshops was integral in finalizing the curriculum.

Outcomes

Enhanced Curriculum: The revised curriculums for KCA University and YEDF now encompass a broader range of skills, knowledge, and practical applications, tailored to the current demands of the entrepreneurial landscape.

Increased Engagement: The involvement of various stakeholders, including youth entrepreneurs, in the curriculum development process ensured that the final product was well-rounded and responsive to the needs of its primary audience.

Practical Application: The modular approach adopted by YEDF offers a pragmatic and hands-on learning experience, crucial for budding entrepreneurs.

The YEDF, KCA, and Nottingham partnership under the IAU Programme exemplifies a successful model in curriculum development. By adopting an inclusive, research-driven, and collaborative approach, this initiative has set a precedent in aligning educational offerings with real-world entrepreneurial challenges. The journey from identifying gaps in existing curriculums to implementing a refined, practical curriculum has the potential to significantly impact youth entrepreneurship in Kenya and beyond.

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