The 5th Uganda UK-Convention is very keen to encourage and engage the youth, especially Ugandan students from the diaspora. Our researcher and reporter met one such student, Dennis Aguma.
Dennis is an alumnus of Makerere University Business School, Kampala and worked with the Auditor General’s Office before moving to London where he’s accumulated over 7 years’ extensive experience in the Administration and Management of Pension Scheme Projects having worked with major FTSE 100 UK Companies such as Capita Employee Benefits, Friends Life – part of the Aviva Group, and Mercer – part of the Marsh and McLennan group of companies.
He’s a Business Management student at Kingston Business School, London – where he’s won several awards including, Most Entrepreneurial Student Award, Student Enterprise Champion Award, Society Achievement Award, Outstanding Contribution to Societies Award, Departmental Award for Management and Student of the Year Award. He’s also been runner-up for Future Leader Award and Career Changer Award.
Dennis is also an elected Student Member of The Board of Trustees, a Senior Course Representative for the Faculty of Business and Law, and a Student Member of Kingston University’s Validation & Internal Subject Review Panel, which is tasked with validating / approving new courses before they can be run by the university, and reviewing subject areas of existing courses to ensure that the curriculum is current and meets the needs of students.
As well as being a mentor and founding member of Kingston Young Entrepreneurs Club, part of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce, Dennis is perhaps best known for holding the Presidency of Kingston Entrepreneurs, which has been crucial in Kingston University retaining its position, for 5 years in a row, as the number one University for graduate start-ups in the UK (Higher Education Statistics Agency, UK). Located in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, London, Kingston University has long been a driving force in fostering innovation and has a strong track record in nurturing and supporting budding businesses and small and medium enterprises across the region. As well as equipping their graduates with specialist skills in areas as diverse as art and design, technology and engineering, the culture and variety of events and activities at the University equips the students with the confidence to consider enterprise at an early stage in their careers.
Last year, the University’s entrepreneurial expertise saw off competition from 150 higher education institutions across the United Kingdom, after helping its business-minded alumni get 270 companies off the ground in 2012/13 – up from 201 the previous year. The Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey 2012/13 also showed that Kingston University generated more start-up companies than all of the nine higher education institutions in Wales combined.
Notable achievements under Dennis’ Presidency included establishing a “Brick Fund” to help students’ startups, and securing “Kingston Nest” – Kingston University’s first Business Incubator that supports early-stage student and graduate entrepreneurs. As well as the overall responsibility and day-to-day management of “The Nest”, his ongoing remit as the Business Incubation Manager involves delivering a strategic plan for supporting a core group of student entrepreneurs at Kingston University.
He is clearly very passionate about Business Development & Youth Entrepreneurship. Asked, about what he hopes to achieve out of this years convention, a visibly excited Dennis couldn’t over estimate the importance of the opportunity to network with the shakers and movers from Uganda, as well as well as like-minded students as he prepares to launch a National Initiative that will run and coordinate a series of activities and events designed to aid the transfer of entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and experiences between UK and Ugandan College and University students.
Among esteemed speakers at the 5th Uganda-UK Convention includes: Rt. Hon. Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda Prime Minister, Chief Guest, Her Royal Highness Sylvia Nagginda Nnabagereka Queen of Buganda, Lord Sheikh. Dr. Louis Kasekende, Deputy Governor, BOU, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe, Honourable A. Aporu Christine, Minister for Teso Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister, Honourable Ernest Kiiza, Minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister, Hon.Kataike Sarah Ndoboli, Minister of State for Luwero Triangle, Mrs. Jennifer Semakula Musisi, Executive Director-KCCA, HE Professor Joyce Kikafunda, HE Nimisha Madhvani, H.E. Ambassador Mirjam Blaak Sow, Dr. Benon Mutambi, CEO, Electricity Regulatory Authority, Robin Odong, MD, Kampala Independent Hospital, Gulu International Hospital, Doris Akol, Commissioner General-URA, Mr. Ismail Ahmed, the Founder and CEO of WorldRemit, Mr Ian Harrison, UK Trade & Investment-Regional Director, Hon. Kasamba Mathias, Chairperson- Parliament Committee on Agriculture, Nuradin Osman, MD, Africa & Middle East for AGCO ( Massey Ferguson), Dr. Eng. Frank Sebbowa, CEO-Uganda Investment Authority and many more