Posted Monday 19 March 2018
An entrepreneurial biochemistry graduate from Kingston University has been recognised as one of the most influential young Africans by an organisation dedicated to developing opportunities for talented and motivated young people in Africa.
Rui Jaime has been named in the list of 100 Most Positively Inspiring African Youths, compiled by Positive Youths Africa. The list is produced each year and celebrates inspiring young Africans who have shown positivity, purpose and drive – and who have promoted these values to others.
Born in Portugal and of Angolan descent, Rui grew up in the Southern African republic. After leaving school at the age of 14, he worked in events organisation for festivals and concerts. It was here that his appetite for entrepreneurship developed.
"I've always had a drive to innovate and manage," he said. "I was also a bit of a science fanatic at the same time, which heavily influenced my degree choice."
Rui chose to study at Kingston University with the endorsement of friends from home who had recently graduated from the institution. He moved to London in 2012 to begin his Biochemistry BSc(Hons) course.
– which sees students pitch an idea to an expert panel of judges with the chance to win funding for developing it into a business. "My entry for Bright Ideas did not ultimately win, but I learnt so much from the Enterprise team throughout University," he said. "Aside from the mentoring, pitching practice and networking opportunities that Kingston University opened up for me, I also learnt to be self-critical which made me evaluate future business ideas more thoroughly."During his time at the University, Rui founded and ran the Luso Society which aimed to bring Portuguese-speaking students together and introduce their culture to others. He also kept in touch with his entrepreneurial side, working with the University's Enterprise Education team and entering the annual Bright Ideas competition
Kingston University's Enterprise Education team provides aspiring entrepreneurial students and graduates with the opportunity to attend high-profile speaker events and regular workshops to develop business acumen and contacts. Head of Enterprise Education Dr Martha Mador said that Rui's achievements highlighted the University's rich entrepreneurial tradition.
"Kingston University has always been a leader in producing graduate start-ups, and Rui's ‘can do' attitude, will to succeed and his take on new ideas epitomises the spirit of our enterprising students," Dr Mador said. "The Enterprise Education programme helps creative students who have an idea to develop their concepts into sustainable business models – through a series of seminars, expert speakers, competitions and networking opportunities. We are always keen to hear from all students and recent graduates who want to take an idea to the next stage."
Another major part of Rui's University life was being a member of Kingston University American Football club, which taught him the importance of resilience and maintaining high standards. "Playing sport teaches you discipline, how to analyse and how to overcome adversity – all important facets of running a business successfully," he said.
Having settled in London following his graduation, Rui is now finalising plans to launch his own Afro-Caribbean food franchise in St James Street – with ambitions to expand across London. He admitted that he was pleasantly surprised by the recognition from Positive Youths Africa, and said it showed what aspiring entrepreneurs could achieve with a positive and tireless attitude.
"I'm really proud to be recognised as a role model for young Africans," Rui said. "Everyone faces adversity, however it is important to keep pushing through and striving to achieve your potential. The support I've had from Kingston University towards continuing my journey has been invaluable and I'm definitely looking forward to the challenges ahead."