Building Blocks Social Entrepreneurship Workshop for High School Students

This social entrepreneurship workshop organized in collaboration with Columbia University’s Building Blocks was held between November 2 to December 7, 2020.  

Irene Koo
Justice Betty
February 09, 2021

In partnership with Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi, Building Blocks successfully completed
the first High School Social Entrepreneurship Workshop. The course brought together 18
students from 15+ schools across Kenya, assuming no prior knowledge of entrepreneurship.
Working with the Building Blocks team of Columbia University students and alumni, the students
began with answering the question “What is entrepreneurship?” and concluded by exploring
solutions to fulfill the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The five-week curriculum included
speakers from across the globe, interactive activities, and a community of ambitious, passionate

The startup ideas tackled a wide spectrum of social issues: poverty in tea farming communities,
inequitable digital education, lack of nutritious and sustainable food options, and inaccessible
mental health. On the final week, students presented their startup ideas to founders in Nairobi for
feedback and mentorship. Upon the conclusion of the workshop, students were invited to the
Building Blocks Alumni Community, consisted of 200+ students across Kenya, Jordan, Turkey,
and the United States.

Some quick snippets of the students’ feedback include:
● 100% would recommend the Building Blocks workshop to a friend
● 100% found the content material enriching and interesting
● 100% felt supported by the teaching team

From the students:

“Thank you for this amazing opportunity. I have learnt a lot from the instructors and I'm really
grateful for their guidance and insight. I got to meet great and really awesome people who have
beautiful perspectives towards various issues.”

“I hope you know how much you have helped me grow as a person… Little did I know that I
signed up for something that was bigger than me, something that would not only be for my
benefit but for the benefit of all those I plan to share my new knowledge and experience with. I
feel empowered to do things that I would never have thought of doing in the past, taking on a
new perspective of business and life in general."

"Education is power! That is my take away from the awesome course that you availed to me. I
have received necessary skills and knowledge that others may never get to have but now
through my new comprehension of social entrepreneurship, I can share my knowledge and
empower others thus empower my generation for a better future. I have always wanted to be
able to make a difference in someone's life and a few weeks ago that seemed nothing but an
aspiration but now I feel a few steps closer and my aspiration is materialising, all thanks to you
of course!”