On Saturday the 21st of November 2020, a group of secondary students took part in a workshop hosted by technology start-ups Mavericks and WonderWeiss. The activity was organized as part of the run a business for a day series marking Global entrepreneurship week 2020.
WonderWeiss is a local clean-tech start-up, founded in late 2019 which focuses on developing sustainable innovations in the form of tools and mechanisms to provide solutions to existing environmental problems such as illegal unreported unregulated fishing. The company is made up of a collective of young professionals from various fields of expertise. Headed by founding members Mr. Andry Accouche, Ms., Marie- Reine Mahoune, and Mr. Chris Rosette.
Mavericks is a software development start-up founded in 2017 by University of Seychelles alumni Mr.Dorian Marie, Mr.Louys Belle, Mr.Francesco Rocci and Mr.Arnold Victor. The company’s aim is to bring new digital solutions to facilitate public services and localize production of custom software in the market.
The group of 15 students which consisted of S4 and S5 students from Mont fleuri, Plaisance and Beau Vallon Secondary school and International School met for the one day workshop took place at the Mont Fleuri Secondary school hall. The day itself was structured into 2 parts, the first part consisted of a series of short power style lectures conducted by members of both companies and expert guests such as economist, Ms. Ingrid Sinon, digital marketers, Mr. Dominique Sabino and Ms. Marla Simeon from whiteboard - Digital marketing agency.
The power lectures engaged on various aspects of entrepreneurship under the titles; Become your Own Boss, Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur, Innovation & Blue Ocean Strategy, Embracing Technology, Working Lean & Agile, Product Design & Development and Finance Essentials .
Practical aspects such as App design, Software development techniques & Live App implementation were also explored through a live coding session by mavericks members Mr. Francesco Rocci and Mr. Louys belle.
A networking hands on activity was also carried out in between the power lectures whereby the students were divided into groups according to interest such as Technology, Economy, and Environment etc. From there students were tasked with coming up with 1 business idea from which the facilitator Ms. Marie- Reine Mahoune would link the different ideas with other groups that their expertise could help further the idea along to showcase networking.
The second part of the session consisted of a practical workshop where the students were divided into groups, from there they were given the task to brainstorm a business idea as part of a pitching exercise. The exercise required students to focus on what problem their business idea was solving for consumers and from there build a case for their business proposition. . The students enjoyed the activity and came up with creative pitches which involved storytelling to support their business ideas.
The day came to a close at 4pm where the students received certificates for their participation and filled in a short survey to relay feedback to the organizers. Mr. Andry Accouche CEO of WonderWeiss describes the activity as a success.
“We showcased our potential and expertise in their respective field. WonderWeiss is exploring the possibility of potentially organizing a similar workshop for adults. I would like to thank all of the members of the facilitating team for their dedication and noted that even though they were on location at 7am, the team managed to remain enthusiastic and energized throughout the whole day. It also shows that entrepreneurship is hard but there is value in it .Entrepreneurship is much more than simply business finance and numbers a valuable lesson for the future entrepreneurs in attendance.”
Speaking from data collected in their post workshop questionnaire, Mr. Accouche noted that the students found the practical sessions very fun and very interactive and most of them said they are looking forward to potentially another workshop. He remarked that he is excited to see their progress and that the group may potentially organize a second workshop next year.
This activity was conducted in conjunction with the Global Entrepreneurship Week which is the largest and most visible one-week campaign affiliated with entrepreneurship, which occurs annually every November and celebrated amongst more than 170 countries with approximately 10 million people across the globe. This year, Seychelles hosted the GEW and secured multiple participants such as Wonderweiss and Mavericks assist in promoting the values of Entrepreneurship in Seychelles.