E-Fest: Bringing Innovation to Africa’s Solution Issues

The Entrepreneurship Festival (E-Fest) is a hallmark event at ALA: it comes at the end of the second term, during which Year 1 students develop and incubate business ideas, which are then presented to a panel of judges on the day of the festival. Year 2 students are engaged too on the day, showcasing their various Student Enterprises to the ALA community, and invited guests.

This year, the Year 1s were challenged to come up with an enterprise that tackled a social problem, under the theme Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu: I Am Because We Are.

Entrepreneurial Leadership Fellow Natalia Maria Sikombe said that for 2022, the team decided to push the students for more innovative solutions during their Original Idea for Development (tOID) curriculum unit. “We wanted students to be more creative by coming up with feasible yet innovative solutions, and well written business plans that directly address the needs they identified,” she said.

The ideas that were chosen for the showcase showed the strength of the overall pitches, as students challenged the status quo and found solutions to often neglected problems.

Natalia said: “I believe this was evident in the teams that made it to the final showcase as they had ideas that challenged the status quo and addressed problems that are often neglected. Like, the Advo8 team that chose to inspire advocacy in youth through game design, or the TOTS who chose to focus on the reintegration of prisoners into society through an educational program they designed.”

The Student Enterprise showcase also featured workshops and talks from experts on a variety of topics relevant to the entrepreneurial journey. The student entrepreneurs also hold meetings with their various board members (outside stakeholders who help guide them on their journey), a vital accountability tool that builds their rigor.

Following the Year 1 showcases, the best SEs were awarded at the Student Enterprise Awards, which was held in the new auditorium space, allowing for a bigger E-Fest showcase than ever before.