The BOOST Fellowship (Building Opportunities through Student Talent) was formed in 2000 by Zimbabweans whose main objective was to bridge the gap between education and employment. Through training programmes in 12 universities throughout Zimbabwe, BOOST has benefited countless students and provided valuable entrepreneurial opportunities.
Under the BOOST umbrella is Enactus, an international non-profit organisation spanning 36 countries. The BOOST Enactus Zimbabwe Country Leader, Busisiwe Marandure, sat down with Harare Magazine to talk about some of the inspiring success stories that have come from a strong year at Enactus. This is what we learned.
At the participating universities, there are clubs consisting of about 40 students each. These clubs are trained in leadership skills, capacity building and presentation skills. In return, they must produce community-based projects that transform lives. The projects that these Enactus clubs present much hit the three Ps: People, Planet and Profit. All of the projects must benefit the environment, the community and generate a profit.
The Enactus World Cup Competition is the world’s largest entrepreneurial competition for social impact. On September 26th-28th, 2017, a select group of 3,500 students, businessmen and government leaders from around the world met in London for this prestigious competition. Zimbabwe’s Midlands State University presented two projects that brought them the Zimbabwe national championship. The Project Upgrow is a low-cost, environmentally friendly vertical garden that recycled plastic bottles. They are headed to Silicon Valley, California in 2018 for the next competition.
BOOST Corporate partnerships and programmes:
Delta Make a Difference Campaign: Held October 13th, 2017 at Meikles Hotel
Barclays Bank Business Incubation Program:
500 young entrepreneurs were taken through a 12-18 month training and incubation program where they were able to gain business skills necessary to successful business. In November 2018, the final pitch for these businesses will be held, details to follow.
Old Mutual Financial Literacy On the Money Program: 2016-2017
BOOST Fellowship in partnership with Old Mutual is holding financial literacy training workshops with youth in universities and communities as well. Financial literacy is a basic skill that is needed by all youth and communities. Youth groups can contact BOOST Fellowship to find out more about how to get involved.
UNICEF Green Jobs Program:
The BOOST Fellowship, in partnership with UNICEF, is currently recruiting and placing 10 students throughout Zimbabwe in green jobs. These students must be seeking attachment and studying towards an environmental degree or discipline. The students will receive training and support in environmental aspects.
NICOZ Diamond Think Tank Challenge:
The BOOST Fellowship has partnered with NICOZ Diamond where they are looking to foster and encourage creativity and innovation amongst tertiary students at Midlands States University (MSU), National University of Technology (NUST) and Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) to successfully integrate continuous cycles of innovation that will position students as market leaders in product development and innovation in the country and abroad. The student teams will establish new technologies and business models that make insurance more inclusive or use collaborative solutions to improve insurance penetration by tapping into the student base.