Concordia Entrepreneurship Project (CEP) in Ghana
The Concordia Entrepreneurship Project in Ghana (CEP Ghana) offers 3 KWPMP students the opportunity to share their knowledge and expand their horizons through volunteering and cultural exchange.
During the exchange, KWPMP students lead African students through a two-week intensive course on entrepreneurship that covers topics such as:
- developing a business plan
- market research and marketing
- competitive analysis
- budgeting and accounting
- networking with local entrepreneurs
The session concludes with a "pitch day,' where the students present their business plans to professional investors in the reality-television style of CBC’s Dragon’s Den.
CEP Ghana collaborates with the SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College (SOS-HGIC) in Tema, Ghana, which attracts top students from all over the continent.
While many organizations operating in Africa focus on traditional scholastic learning — how to read and count — many high school and university graduates remain unemployed. The African Center for Economic Transformation reports an estimated 50 per cent of university graduates are unable to find work. Many experts have urged both governments and the private sector to act quickly to provide highquality employment opportunities to educated youth.
Entrepreneurship can play a key role in solving youth unemployment and poverty in Africa. It creates jobs, fosters economic development and reduces violence and crime.
Impact on African students
- Exposure to new ideas and teaching methods
- Cultural exchange with students from vastly different backgrounds
- Meeting real-life entrepreneurs and visiting their businesses
- Learning proven techniques to launch their own enterprises
- Learning to write and pitch a business plan
Impact on Concordia students
- Volunteer experience through community engagement
- Exposure to new approaches and ideas held by the SOS-HGIC students
- Immersion in a new culture radically different from their own
- Experience teaching and developing a course curriculum
Sample student projects
Working in small groups, the African students develop business ideas and create plans for potential businesses, all of which answer a local need. Past examples are:
Narh’s Bridal Home
The concept of this African bridal wear rental company was developed by students who wanted to make high-quality, cultural bridal wear more accessible. The startup designs gowns, studded with African prints, which can be rented at affordable prices for brides and maids of honor.
This waste management startup produces biogas. The concept was developed by students who wanted to profitably convert what they refer to as “invaluables” into valuables and as a result improve the living standards of local populations. GOGreen Limited’s plan is to educate rural families on the benefits of waste management and to collect their waste to produce biogas.
Amaline is a payment processing and online order-fulfilment company. The concept was developed by students who wanted to make online shopping possible for people without a credit card.
“We learned how to convert ideas into sustainable businesses. We also learned important entrepreneurial skills such as market research, financing, how to prepare for interviews, among others. Seeing alumni of the school being successful and impacting their society challenged us to even be better.”
“CEP Ghana turned out to be one of the most interesting experiences we have ever had at HGIC. We wish this program was made compulsory for each and every student as it will have a great impact on their future. We also hope to go back to our countries and teach our siblings and other people in the community.”