About AESU

The Accelerating Entrepreneurship Support in Universities In Kenya (AESU) is an educational partnership between The Open University (UK), Riara University (Kenya), and an ecosystem partner, Ashoka East Africa. The partnership is funded by the British Council through the inaugural Innovation for African Universities (IAU) programme 2021. 

Through establishing and operating a virtual Accelerator, the partnership will renew and adapt the entrepreneurship and innovation curriculum at Riara University with a view to producing enterprising graduates who are capable of securing employment and/or commercializing locally developed innovations that harness digital technology and contribute to addressing the climate emergency in Kenya. 

The Accelerator will impact cohorts of graduates and student start-ups who will be able to either gain direct employment or be empowered to access and act on available resources to successfully establish, manage and grow social and commercial enterprises in their home environment. 

The implementation of the pilot project is for nine months from January to September 2022. The overarching goal of the AESU project is to translate societal problems into solutions, at the same time addressing employment and employability challenges.

This document provides guidance on activities related to capacity building, entrepreneurship acceleration, and stakeholder engagements. 

Programme Timeline

January 1st, 2022 – March 5th, 2022

Establish a sustainable governance framework for AESU

This task is led by The Open University Team.
1. Contract Negotiation and Signing
2. Establish the ToR for Accelerator Manager, Software Developer, Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) and Acceleration Management Team (AMT)
3. Establishing Strategic Advisory Board (PSG)
4. Secure and onboard OU academics and consultants
5. Identifying, Securing & Onboarding of members of the local Acceleration Management Team (AMT)
6. Report on entrepreneurship competition winners, M&E Activities for Phase 2, securing Ashoka mentors and SAB board members
7. SAB Meetings and progress reviews
8. AMT Meetings for workplan, resource management and day-to-day progress reviews
9. Ongoing M&E including capturing testimonials, user feedback, and lessons learned
10.  AESU professional identify development tracking
11.  Ongoing dissemination
12.  Final quarterly report submitted to the funder

January 1st, 2022 – September 10th, 2022

Create a blended learning programme within a virtual accelerator

The task will be led by The Open University Team.
1. Design of digital infrastructure for virtual accelerator   
2. Create digital infrastructure for virtual accelerator           
3. Purchase of licenses for CANVAS, Zoom Meeting and Big Blue Button.     
4. Create AESU network website, ready for launch
5. Upload course content to online platform, blended learning material and AESU network information.      
6. Provide ongoing IT support throughout the project.        
7. Develop and deliver training for ‘acceleration management’ to the Acceleration Management Team.       
8. Write up operational plan for acceleration management for the blended learning programme.    
9. Report on the digital infrastructure for the virtual accelerator at Riara University

January 1st, 2022 – September 10th, 2022

Produce a full innovative online course (module) on entrepreneurship and innovation

1. Full innovative online course design and production tracking       
2. Curate existing open educational resources from the OU’s Openlearn and OpenLearn Create platforms   
3. Curate existing educational resources from Ashoka East Africa’s Changemaker Journey   
4. New curriculum
5. New curriculum – audio vidual resources              
6. New curriculum
7. Capacity building course for train-the-trainers   
8. Final review and sign-off of curriculum for upload to CANVAS platform

January 1st, 2022 – September 10th, 2022

Co-deliver entrepreneurial learning through blended learning events

The tasks will be led by Riara University Team.
1. RU Staff capacity development 
2. Train-the-trainer Workshop 1 (Induction for Acceleration Management Team)   
3. Train-the-trainer workshop 2 (Design of Blended Learning Programme – Result 2)               
4. rain-the-trainer workshops 3 (Design of online course in entrepreneurship and innovation – Results 3)   
5.  Train-the-trainer workshops 4 (Design of entrepreneurial learning programme – Results 4)             
6. Students taught and mentored 
a. Entrepreneurs from 12 student-led provided with cash prizes to develop their business ideas further                
b. Entrepreneurs from 12 student-led business supported
c. Entrepreneurs from 12 student-led business supported
7. Entrepreneurship and innovation students taught            
8. Stakeholder engagement events              
9. Launch the accelerator
10. Demo Day to show student start-up businesses to local ecosystem stakeholders
11. Final dissemination event

Call for AESU Applications ( Cohort 2)
Feb 7th 2023

Interested AESU Cohort 2 participants with innovative business ideas, products/ sevices or startupslications ( Cohort 2)

Short Description

Official Launch
April 20th 2023

AESU Cohort 2 Programme Launch

The Accelerating Entrepreneurship Support in Universities in Kenya (AESU) is an educational partnership between Open University (UK), Riara University (Kenya), Ashoka East Africa, and Africa Technology Policy Studies (ATPS), to provide entrepreneurship education within a virtual space.