East African Entrepreneurship Competition 2015

Up to five teams will be chosen to progress through an eight-week business training programme based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to develop and test their idea, build it into a full business plan and receive academic credit for practical training. In the final week of the training, finalists will pitch their business plan to a panel of judges for a chance to win 3000 USD in prize capital to help implement their idea.

Business training will be led by The Cambridge Development Initiative (or CDI). The CDI is a student-led NGO from the University of Cambridge in the UK with a proven training methodology for early-stage business development, which will guide finalists through market research and prototyping in off-grid communities based on the Human-Centred Design (HCD) framework. This will allow teams to refine both their product or service, as well as the business model, in direct interaction with end customers. CDI wants each participant to acquire a deep familiarity with the framework, to the extent that they can replicate it themselves in future entrepreneurial ventures. This personalised coaching will be channelled into the business plan which is the main output of the competition.

Furthermore, in closely facilitated workshops, the CDI will help finalists build core business skills and prepare their pitches as well as equip them with a versatile entrepreneurial skillset. Input from collaborating organisations including GVEP, Practical Action, COSTECH, E.ON Off-grid Solutions and The Smart Villages Initiative will help ensure the course is at the cutting edge of the off-grid energy space.

Competition Outcomes for Finalists
Training Learn how to conduct market research, interrogate your idea, validate prototypes, build revenue models, and develop core business skills including public speaking, leadership and teamwork
Funding Understand how to access funding from local sources. Pitch to win $3000 in prize capital to help implement your idea.
Certification Earn practical training academic credit
Network Build a professional network of peers, and potential mentors, partners and funders
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