STEP is an entrepreneurship training for youths and young adults. STEP develops young people’s skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue an entrepreneurial career. In the training, the students learn step-by-step to start their own businesses. This provides them with an effective means of creating jobs for themselves and other people in the community.
STEP provides an answer to adverse labor market conditions and limited employment opportunities. STEP students learn to create their own jobs by starting and running a business. A key benefit is that the students learn to take charge of their professional future. Through the training, the students become more proactive and independent, which supports them in overcoming the extreme unemployment rates among youths in many developing countries. Unemployment and poverty are inextricably intertwined. This is the point where STEP seeks to make a difference.
The approach by STEP is supported by researchers and politicians alike. Politicians and researchers ranked fostering entrepreneurship among the top priorities of their agendas to alleviate poverty. Entrepreneurship is a main driver of economic development and wealth creation. Entrepreneurs have the potential to boost the economy and contribute substantially to new job creation. Against this background, entrepreneurship training, such as STEP, is a main leverage for a successful bottom-up strategy to increase the number of entrepreneurs and accomplish politicians’ agenda.
Where is STEP running?
- Makerere University
- Uganda Christian University
- Uganda Martyrs University
- Nakawa Vocational Training Institute
- St. Joseph’s Secondary School
- Lesotho Agricultural College
- Limkokwing University of Creative Technology
- Lerotholi Politechnic
- Kenyatta University
- University of Rwanda
- University of Liberia
- Bicol University
- Instituto Tecnológico Autónom de México (ITAM)
- Instituto Gustavo A. Madero (Tecnológical Nacional de México)
- Instituto Tecnológico de Puebla (Tecnológico Nacional de México)
- University of Dar es Salaam
How everything started...
The STEP project was founded in 2006 by Prof. Dr. Michael Frese and his team from Leuphana University of Lüneburg in cooperation with Makerere University Business School and Uganda Christian University (Uganda).
The first training was conducted in 2009 at Makerere University and Uganda Christian University in Uganda. From these two universities, 200 students formed the first cohort to ever attend a STEP training. The evaluation of the first training showed significant short- and long-term effects on all factors important for entrepreneurship. Based on the positive results, the STEP training was implemented at universities in Liberia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda. In subsequent years, STEP was extended to further educational institutions, such as vocational training institutes and secondary schools, as well as to further regions, such as South-East Asia (e.g., the Philippines) and Latin America (e.g., Mexico).
Our evaluations in each country have shown that the STEP training has a significant impact on business and job creation. STEP thus contributes to poverty alleviation and job creation on different educational levels and in different regions across the globe.