Under ongoing Applied Entrepreneurship Education Program (AEEP), the partnering institution - Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences (HNU) has conducted eight workshops and trainings for the visiting AMU lecturers and a project coordinator at City of Ulm and Neu-Ulm, Germany from 14th March to 9th May, 2014. AEEP project is funded by Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) - German Academic Exchange Service.

The six-week long training called ‘Training of Trainers’ held in Germany, as a part of project implementation was to ensure sustainability of this joint Endeavour. The workshops categorized into two like Education Part-I & Part-II had sub-contents as educational contents and practice tasks.

Training began with HNU Project Coordinator, Mr Phillip Travers, enlightening visiting AMU contingent on ‘Business Model Canvas Development’ from 17th to 20th March. Further training sessions had focused on topics like project management, technical development, business opportunity identification, marketing, organizational set-ups, finance, business plan & development followed by reviews which were taken by Phillip Travers.

Solar Sahay Africa Association personnel steered the workshop on ‘Project Management,’ Phaesun GmbH dealt with technical management, Xcom Africa GmbH taught business opportunity identification, Jurgen Raach marketing, Kamer K Aksoy took organizational set-ups while Dr Elmar Steurer made financial aspect easy for the participants on respective dates.

Each workshop said to have adequately enhanced the knowledge level of each instructors, who would be inculcating entrepreneurial skill to the final-year students of AMU from Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Agriculture, Accounting, Finance & Management departments over the period of three years and a month.

At the outset, impact assessment was carried out to assess the existing level of knowledge of instructors and also at the end of the training via questionnaires. Each instructor had to fill up three sets that elicited general motivation and reasons behind becoming entrepreneur. It also gave an insight into trainees’ thought process with regard to obstacles, fear, mind-set, attitudes and self-perception of entrepreneurship related skills.

AMU visiting members were as follow, Nathanael Chuta, Project Coordinator from Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engindaw Abel, Sameul Tessema, Selomie Daniel were also from Electrical & Computer Engineering dept; Teshome Dangiso, Mechanical Engineering, Gizachew Girma, Agriculture, Gelane Amenu, Accounting & Finance and Aster Teshome was from Management department.

Apart from keeping the team together as a Project Coordinator, Mr Nathanael said, ‘‘It had been a unique experience as he learnt a lot about entrepreneurship; specially under educational model, designing rural cafeteria business was exciting.

Lecturer Selomie Daniel from Electrical & Computer Engineering felt privileged to acquire innovative idea on entrepreneurship. Designing solar power milk processing unit in a team was quite interesting and education on general entrepreneurship was fascinating for her.

Engindaw Abel found session on business opportunity identification by Xcom Africa GmbH most significant and compelling for all, he said, ‘‘Being from engineering background, training on entrepreneurship was unique for me.’’

For Aster Teshome from Management, the training was very apt, that has enriched her knowledge as how to develop business model. ‘‘Especially training on Business Opportunity Identification was of immense importance as it has given me in particular the knack to identify business opportunities existing in our environment,’’ she added.

It’s learnt that before the AMU group again goes to Germany next year for further training, four of HNU lecturers would be visiting Arba Minch University in mid July 2014.

By Philips Joseph