The Cours d’été de l’Entrepreneuriat à l’Université de Ségou (CEEUS 2013) is a pilot project that intends to promote the spirit of collaboration among communities and help them on the path to reconciliation, recovery and development in Mali in a context of Private Sector Development. It will run for six months until June 2014 and is supported by the Dutch Embassy in Bamako. CEEUS aims to promote resilience, food security and improve youth’s economic opportunities by developing their entrepreneurial skills.
The CEEUS 2014 is in accordance with Malian government policies and goals and helps strengthening existing institutions. The Ministry of Employment, as well as the Ministries of Education and Tourism have been consulted in the process of developing the project and have agreed to its importance and implementation.
The project will bring together 400 youth from local communities in the Ségou area (north-east of Bamako) to participate in several lectures on business skills and entrepreneurship with (inter)national experts and Malian role models. These lectures will involve potential entrepreneurs from the university and displaced community youths.
At the end of the first phase, 20-30 promising participants will be selected to participate in a business-plan-competition. They will participate in a two-week long intensive Business Skills Training program. They will receive further coaching in writing their business plans in the third phase of the program following the approach of SPARK Solutions. Additionally, university professors will be teamed with trainers in order to expand their teaching skills on entrepreneurship and sensitised to the opportunities that entrepreneurship offers for university students and local youth.
The results of the summer school business competition, and most importantly, the winners of the Business Plan Competition, will be presented in the one day Ségou Forum On Youth Entrepreneurship by the end of March 2014. This forum will bring together students of the UdS, the IDP-communities, but also local youth from Ségou, in order for the university to offer an open door for talent and to sensitize them to the possibilities of entrepreneurship. Loans by banks and local coaches, in cooperation with SPARK, will further support the winners of the business plan competition to start-up their businesses. CEEUS recognises the importance of women entrepreneurs to development and food security and seeks to promote their participation by motivating women to participate in the programme.
SPARK will use merit-based selection criteria to select the participants for the workshops and business-plan competition so as to ensure the quality of the business plans. The selection committee and professors selected to co-teach CEEUS will be sensitised to the importance of women entrepreneurship for development and food security.