By Maarten van Eeuwijk, Coordinator Entrepreneurship Programme, Senior Lecturer Business Administration and Agribusiness HAS Hogeschool
In May 2018 I visited Egerton for an educational and capacity assessment. In this week I interviewed a lot of involved people like the programme manager and training coordinator and several participants in the program at the centre. Almost every teacher had only academic respectively research experience and no business experience. Business experience is needed. Teachers with an open mind set on entrepreneurship/competence-based learning should stay involved in the centre, to stay in good contact with the university and benefit from their experience in education and writing curricula.
Second training mission
Based on these findings, a second training mission with focus on entrepreneurship coaching was organised in April 2019. During this week, we visited two HAS graduates which started business in Kenya.
We visited Bert Louwerse, GM Blooming Africa, in Gilgil. Bert graduated in 2007 and is in Kenya ever since. Bert is an entrepreneur for six years now, grows cut flower hydrangeas for the Middle East at Asian market. He has 220 employees and his company is still growing. In everything he does one can see his innovative skills (he follows the market demands very closely) and communication skills (he is busy with this all day).
We also visited Talash Huijbers, director and entrepreneur Insecti Pro, in Limuru. Talash graduated last year, she studied for 4 years in the Netherlands and grew up in Kenya. Insecti Pro is a local start up working in alternative protein sources. As the population grows and the middle class gains more money, there will be a higher demand for meat products. Currently the amount and way of production is not beneficial to people or the environment. The first market being examined is the animal feed market. Cows, pigs, chicken and fish need to eat as well.
Insecti Pro aims to use the idea of nutrient upcycling to create animal protein that does not compete with the food/fuel by using organic waste products. The second market segment that they are targeting is alternative protein for human consumption. This is through the use of crickets. This can be both high end (eat grub in the UK) or low end (nutrient addition to local school lunch programmes.