On 4th June, 2018, Cytonn Education Services, Cytonn Group’s education affiliate, held a press briefing to announce the opening of Cytonn College of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at their flagship campus at Queensway Building, Kaunda Street. The College will provide technical and vocational education and training.
During the press briefing, Investment Analyst for Cytonn Education Services, Faith Maina explained how education fits into the Cytonn Group’s Strategy and highlighted the following reasons why the diversification into education was essential for Cytonn: (i) the need to provide education in our various real estate developments, such as RiverRun Estates in Ruiru, The Alma in Ruaka, The Ridge in Rideways, and NewTown in Athi River, all which have space allocated for education facilities for either Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE), Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions, (ii) the need to package the attractive returns in education sector for local high net worth and institutional investors. Local investors have typically been confined to only equities and fixed income, which collectively have returned 10 to 12% per annum compared to private equity and investment grade real estate, which have returned 20 to 25% per annum, (iii) the need to develop talent for the country and for Cytonn especially in regard to the “big four” agenda pillars of affordable housing, which is the core focus of the Cytonn Centre for Affordable Housing and in manufacturing. With the high unemployment rate, the College will focus on developing graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit. Top graduates in technical areas such as plumbing, electrical and masonry will be guaranteed jobs in Cytonn’s real estate projects, and (iv) the initiative enables Cytonn to diversify their revenue streams away from investments and real estate, to education, which is an annuity business.
Benjamin Ikenye, Cytonn Education Services Business Manager, speaking at the briefing.
Speaking at the press briefing the Business Manager – Cytonn Education Services, Benjamin Ikenye said that through research they were able to identify an opportunity in the education sector. With the university entry requirements set at KCSE grade of C+ and above, only an average of 27% of the students, over the last 5 years have been able to meet this. As a result, over 360,000 students are left looking for colleges to enroll into. Cytonn College of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is targeting to enroll 1% of this number over the next four years.
Edwin H. Dande, Cytonn’s Chief Executive Officer, addressing the media at the CES media briefing.
Edwin H. Dande, Cytonn Investments’ Chief Executive Officer, stated during the press briefing,” Cytonn identifies great opportunities and has a great team that pushes for execution to bring the idea to a reality. We have worked hard to look for alternative investments for our clients, from real estate, financial services now education and in the future hospitality. In looking for a partnership to provide education services for our developments, we could not find a brand that was able to provide all the services and we decided to take it up. Education was just a natural evolution of what we do. Furthermore, a key issue that has come up as we are talking to our real estate development contractors is the challenge of getting skilled labor i.e. plumbers, masons and electricians and we noticed a gap. There is a need to have people with technical skills especially with the government’s big 4 agenda, which includes affordable housing, we will be able to make a contribution to that, while also offering jobs in our various projects.”
The Cytonn College of Innovation and Entrepreneurship will offer technical classes in the following schools; School of Engineering, Building and Civil Technology, School of Computer Sciences, School of Business and Accounting, School of Hospitality and Tourism, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and School of Cosmetology. Cytonn Education Services looks to venture into other areas of education not only tertiary education but also; early childhood education, primary and secondary level education.