AMU launches Entrepreneurship Development Centre

Arba Minch University has recently launched Entrepreneurship Development Centre to inculcate entrepreneurial mindset in the graduates and make them self-reliant. The centre approved in June 2015, with newly structured organizational chart to get functional soon. College of Business and Economics conceived the idea and got it materialized as a centre to be managed by Department of Management. Later, at the behest of AMU Board, its status was widened to university level. Centre will be accountable to the office of Vice President for Business and Development, Dean Mr Wondowosen Jerene informed.
Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) headed by a director will have four cohesive units to be manned by coordinators. Entrepreneurship Training Unit will impart trainings to students and staff. Incubation Unit will test and translate business ideas into reality. Research Unit will identify opportunities and problems while Business Development and Consultancy Unit will translate ideas recommended by above three units into business opportunities.
EDC director will provide leadership, oversight and direction in all aspects of development. The director will plan, develop, organize, coordinate and support medium and small enterprises around university community. He or she will raise funds, provide strategic guidance to form voluntary network, prepare, administer budget, set annual objective, maintain record, develop robust resources, strategy, etc.
The centre will impart entrepreneurship training to graduates of all colleges, which later may become the part of curriculum. Students will be trained to identify and create business ideas before they choose departments. Brief training course for all departments is also being considered and at the end of graduating semester, six-day training is planned. During apprenticeship of engineering students it will attach the business ideas as a part of their attachment, he added.
On manpower resource in managing the centre, he said, some of the management staff will support all units with their expertise. And every college will also have entrepreneurship clubs which will further support the functioning of the centre.
On how clientele for consultancy will be procured, he said, after the implementation of business ideas in the real world, assigned staff will tour across Ethiopia to grab the opportunities and render their services. 
He informed that EDC is the sixth such centers in Ethiopia; other five were established in Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Jimma, Hawassa and Adama universities by Federal government while this centre is AMU’s own initiative.
Federal-level Ethiopian Entrepreneur Development Centre will train EDC’s appointed staff and allow access to the designed business models as the part of collaboration. Centre will also partner with Ministries of Trade and Investment Bureau, Ministry of Industry, federal small and micro development agencies, urban and development centres, microfinance institutions, chamber of commerce, private and public commercial banks etc; in future it may have global partners.
College of Business and Economics will provide manpower to the centre while its overall activities will be micro-managed by the office of Vice President for Business and Development.
The centre will also help students to get the seed money for their business plans from the micro financial institutions. It will help utilize the opportunities spread across the nation and will teach us how to translate opportunities into real business venture, Mr Wondowosen sums up.  

(By Corporate Communication Directorate: Philips Joseph)