At The School of St Jude, the significant impact entrepreneurship has on a community and a nation is widely acknowledged. Students that show potential in either innovative or social entrepreneurship are encouraged and nurtured by the school. This is demonstrated by the statistical data that tell a story of how the entrepreneurial graduates of St Jude’s have contributed to the economic development and growth of their communities.
Over the last four years, 30 businesses have been successfully established by St Jude’s alumni, which has led to the creation of over 250 new employment opportunities and the mentorship of more than 2,000 people nationwide.
How does entrepreneurship benefit a nation?
St Jude’s recognizes that the significance of entrepreneurship extends beyond the business world. The three main roles entrepreneurship plays in society include accelerating economic growth, promoting innovation, and cultivating societal change.
1. Accelerating Economic Growth
At St Jude’s, it is understood that entrepreneurship ventures can act as the wheel of the nation’s economic growth. The acceleration of economic development results from the conception of new products or services that stimulate new employment opportunities. These new jobs are generally entry-level positions that are valuable to unskilled job searchers. It provides new opportunities for these members of the community to become skilled professionals which has a ripple effect on the economic growth of the entire nation.
2. Promoting Innovation
St Jude’s also has initiatives that encourage innovation at the school including the Science Day where students showcase the innovative projects they have been working on. It is important to stimulate innovation as it plays a major role in solving either technological or societal problems the community faces
3. Cultivating societal change
By introducing new or improved products or services, entrepreneurs have the potential to leverage underutilized resources in effective and beneficial ways while bettering the welfare of their communities.
The Green Venture
In December 2015, St Jude’s alumni Edmund Tarimo founded Green Venture. This initiative aims to address the problem of plastic waste by using innovative technologies to turn the waste into durable building materials. Hence the fitting slogan Transforming Trash Into Treasure.
Edmund first had his idea and presented it to the St Jude’s Science Day and the idea blossomed into a successful, impactful business it is today. He began this initiative in Arusha, Tanzania. He was motivated by the complex societal issues of displacement and plastic waste that resulted from his witnessing floods in Dar Es Salaam when he was fifteen years old. The floods destroyed 700 mud houses and displaced all the residents. His entrepreneurial mindset led him to solving both the societal issues of plastic waste and displacement due to nondurable building materials. He achieved this by creating high-quality building products from plastic lumber, that is termite and water-resistant with higher tensile strength than typical wood. His entrepreneurial contribution to Tanzania won his initiative the “Best Circular Economy Business” title at the world’s largest green business challenge Climate Launch Pad in 2020.
All in all, St Jude’s supports and encourages entrepreneurship in students for it is recognized as having a positive impact on Tanzania’s economic development and societal growth. What’s more, social entrepreneurship finds innovative solutions to complex global societal challenges which ripple positive change extending beyond the Tanzanian borders and into the world.