1) Creativity fostered in the classroom:
When schools teach all of the students the same skills and professions but do not emphasize critical individual thinking the result is many identical companies which offer the same products and service the same customers. This dearth of innovation is terrible for an economy. Strivers challenge the students to think creatively and seek out a unique market niche. This is embodied both in the culture of the school and the activities which we have students complete.
2) Practical skills in the classroom:
Practical skills, are vital to the day-to-day operations and overall success of a fledgling business. There is a disconnect in Ugandan education between theoretical ideas and their implementation. Failure to teach these can create fear in a students mind. The reaction is that they avoid integrating the threatening element into their operations. This limits the potential for growth of the business. At Strivers these critical skills are a key component in our curriculum. Every Strivers student opens and uses a bank account, receives a computer and gets driving lessons. The rationale behind this is straightforward. As owners of start up ventures, students should have familiarity with using computers to take advantage of the benefits which they can offer - everything from spreadsheets (to monitor the health of their business) to online advertising and correspondences via email. They need to be able to transport themselves and their goods between locations without initially incurring the expense of having a driver. They need to be able to using the tools which banking offers to move money, pay for inventory and receive payment from customers.
The culture in Uganda limits the interactions of aspiring entrepreneurs with successful business people and university professors. The result is that talented students do not have access to people with greater life experience to ask questions of. Strivers Employs a four-tiered approach to assisting students with networking. These interactions are designed to expose students to successful role models and give them connections, which they can call upon log after they graduate from the workshop. The four groups are:
To find out more about Striver's Mentors please navigate to the "Mentors" page or Click Here4) Capital:
Launching a business which requires more capital than a micro loan is difficult in Uganda. Aspiring entrepreneurs from poor backgrounds cannot ask their parents for money. Because they have no collateral and no business history they cannot get a large conventional bank loan. On top of this, there is virtually no venture capital history in Uganda. Upon graduation and successful presentation of a business plan Strivers will choose the top projects and offer financing, in the form of a loan, to select capable and motivated graduates.