Africa Nazarene University’s Business School and Computer Science Department, in collaboration with Kirche in Aktion, hosted Impact Week July 21 through 25 at its main campus in Nairobi. Themed “Creating Impact through Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” the event presented a new forum that sought to empower innovation and entrepreneurial thinking through methods of design thinking.
Moderated by a team of 20 experts and coaches in design thinking, participants were offered guided sessions on five core fields of innovation including healthcare, education, finance, transportation and mobility, and agriculture and food. The participants, drawn from innovators, academia, industry entrepreneurs, and students, were exposed to models that combine different tools to support innovation and facilitate the process of discovering viable business strategies that can convert into customer value and market opportunities.
In her speech, Africa Nazarene University Vice Chancellor Leah Marangu emphasized the importance of universities as a key outlet of budding innovations and entrepreneurships and their role in economic development. She urged the forum’s participants to embrace the opportunities presented by the Impact Week to execute their innovative skills to solve societal problems that particularly ail the African continent.
Seventeen teams pitched their business ideas to a nine-judge bench composed of design thinking experts, industry practitioners, academia representatives, and entrepreneurs. Three teams secured an opportunity to have their winning ideas nurtured at ANU’s Innovation Center, which aims to incubate ideas and provide links and collaborative partnerships with investors in an effort to provide practical solutions to societal challenges.
The Impact Week concluded by awarding teams for their business ideas based on the following criteria: the prospective business impact of the idea; the business model; and customer validation (availability of market for the business idea and its potential to solve societal problems).
Marangu acknowledged the winners, advising them to invest their ideas into servant leadership to transform the world. She also recognized and thanked the German experts for their selfless service and relentless efforts to make a difference at Africa Nazarene University.