Global Executive MBA: International Learning Experience in Ghana
Published on 15 October 2021 by NEOMA
In mid-September, the Global Executive MBAs participated in a Study Tour in Ghana dedicated to social entrepreneurship. Here is a look back at these few days marked by strong human encounters, project creation and solidarity.
Svetlana Serdyukov, Professor in the Strategy & Entrepreneurship Department, makes clear right away: “This is not a pleasure trip, but an opportunity for our participants to discover and understand the infrastructures developed in the country to encourage entrepreneurship”. And to ensure that the few days spent on site are as fruitful as possible, the Study Tour is meticulously prepared in advance. For this, the class is divided into 3 groups: Knowledge, Network and Communication. Before, during and after the Study Tour, each team works in-depth on specific topics and then shares their research with all the participants.
For example, prior to departure, the Knowledge team produced a comprehensive document on entrepreneurship, the Network team researched information on all the companies they visited and the Communication team worked on Ghana, its development, its infrastructure and its challenges.
During their stay, in order to understand the economic and social fabric of the country, the Global Executive MBAs had the opportunity to visit several incubators and accelerators and to meet with highly committed entrepreneurs who are tackling Ghana’s technological and economic problems.
As mentors, the GEMBA participants also met with five startups who came to present their projects. After the pitches, in small groups, the Global Executive MBAs worked hand in hand with the entrepreneurs on their business model, positioning, financial and marketing aspects. These mentoring sessions were one of the greatest successes of the Study Tour, as the entrepreneurs were grateful for the rich exchanges and relevant advice they received. “Very strong bonds were created during the mentoring and the 5 teams decided to stay in contact with the entrepreneurs to continue working on the projects from a distance,” says Svetlana.
Some very nice meetings took place over these few days and have already borne fruit. For example, one of the participants who did not yet know where to set up his business decided to set up in Ghana. Another example is the idea of a business project in the field of fashion between France, the United States and Ghana, initiated by an Executive MBA and one of the female entrepreneurs met during the Study Tour.
Supportive to the end and encouraged by the potential of this country, the Global Executive MBAs left Ghana and decided to create an association for the development of business and entrepreneurship between Africa and France. Their objective is to seek funds in Europe to contribute to the development of the country. It is also a way for them to stay in touch with each other and with the entrepreneurs on the spot, as well as create a link with the next promotions when they will experience the Study Tour.
“This is the 7th Study Tour that I have had the chance to organise, and each time we have had a very rich experience,” says Svetlana, “but I have never seen such mobilisation and enthusiasm. This is an energetic and efficient promotion with a strong solidarity dimension.”