Two young, inspiring future leaders – Mercy Cherono Too and Stalin Tawanda Mau Mau – are the first recipients of GainingEdge’s Scholar Programme which debuted in January this year.
As part of the organisation’s commitment to the industry, and as another extension of its CSR programmes, GainingEdge has developed the GainingEdge Scholar Programme which recognises the importance of providing meaningful work experiences to students who wish to pursue careers in the business events industry and who demonstrate outstanding potential for future industry leadership.
Every year, one student will serve as the GainingEdge Scholar for that year, and will work with the GainingEdge team to develop a project which will accomplish the following:
- Make a significant contribution to the industry
- Deliver a meaningful work/learning opportunity to the student
- Help the student to gain practical industry experience
- Provide a strong addition to the achievements section of the student’s CV
- Connect the student to an industry network that will help them pursue a successful career
In 2018, the first year of this GainingEdge Scholar programme, GainingEdge offered the internship opportunity to not one, but two, young and deserving scholars from Africa.
The first, Stalin Tawanda Mau Mau, (Master of Business Administration (General Management), Stamford International University Bangkok, Thailand) currently based in Bangkok, will work on the “Accessible Meetings” project. This research project is a joint effort with BestCities Global Alliance, Rehabilitation International and GainingEdge for meetings organizers and the supplier community on how to remove barriers in meetings and conventions for delegates with special needs, and make these business events more inclusive. The Report will include Best Practices, Case Studies with References and Guidelines for meeting planners. Stalin says: “This Project aims to assist in better planning for and addressing the needs of convention visitors with disability and access issues. The research can assist policy and planning agencies in understanding the various elements that contribute to positive visitor experiences for participants with access issues and contribute to improved capacity building in the meetings industry.”
The other Scholar this year is Mercy Cherono Too (BSc. Events and Convention Management, Technical University of Kenya). Her project aims to find out the current capacity of African associations and what factors (if any) are limiting their success, and make recommendations for capacity building. This project is undertaken for the African Society of Association Executives (AfSAE), and like the earlier “Accessible Meetings” project, is offered on a pro-bono basis by GainingEdge with the full support of Talley Management Group Inc. Mercy explains: “The project’s vision is to provide African associations with a way to harness their potential and map out a channel for their evolution. Besides developing AfSAE’s database of African associations, the study will focus on the current capacity of African associations while seeking to identify impactful solutions using training as a means to enhance the growth of the associations.”
Says Gary Grimmer, CEO of GainingEdge: “Our Scholar programme is as focused on the long term as it is on the shorter term goal of conducting an important project. We see our Scholars as a growing community. They are part of a legacy that we are seeking to deliver to the industry. That means that we provide them with ongoing mentorship and a continuing interest in their future success.”