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GMAC Brings Entrepreneurship Opportunities to Africa

Posted By Nicole Zefran, Monday, November 18, 2013

Nicole ZefranA grant from GMAC’s MET Fund is supporting a large effort to bring entrepreneurship opportunities to Africa. GBSN member school, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore's ALTIS Postgraduate School of Business and Society and Tangaza College in Nairobi, Kenya have partnered to train entrepreneurs with an executive MBA in Social Entrepreneurship.

This 15-month program, that began in June, features traditional classroom instruction, to go with online content delivery. For the duration of the program, each student is paired with a mentor from the business community to develop a strategy to connect with local business leaders and investors.

In Kenya, student projects include running an orphanage and working to make it self-sufficient and not dependent on outside funding. Another project uses the waste product from sugar cane farming to create cooking fuel, aiming to replace the commonly used and more dangerous kerosene.

ALTIS also reached an agreement with the Catholic Institute of Business and Technology in Accra, Ghana, to create a similar program, which launched October 21, 2013. This program will help approximately three dozen entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground. The students, mainly from the capital city of Accra, were selected through a competitive process that included pitching their business or business plan. On October 11th, applicants participated in a business idea competition.

This executive MBA program was funded by the GMAC MET Fund through the worldwide Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Challenge. After a two-phase competition, the MET Fund awarded $262,000 for the top 20 ideas to improve management education and then more than $7.1 million to 12 schools and organizations to implement the ideas. Replicability was a key factor during the idea phase. The Ghana program is the second in a planned series of entrepreneurship MBA programs. ALTIS has won funding from the European Union to start a third program in Sierra Leone in 2014. 

Students from the Kenya program at the launch in June.


Nicole Zefran is the Network Assistant at the Global Business School Network.  

Tags:  GMAC  i2i Challenge  MET Fund  social entrepreneurship 

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