Since 1991, the Ivey LEADER Project’s vision has been “To equip entrepreneurs, and aspiring entrepreneurs, with the business decision-making skills to progress the prosperity and well-being of the regions in which they live.” In recent years, LEADER has expanded our focus from simply inspiring participants to “think entrepreneurially” to also enabling the launch and scale of their ventures. During the three weeks that we spend in Ghana, we provide both teaching sessions and 1-on-1 coaching to achieve this goal. Our curriculum uses cases and lectures to give participants the tools and knowledge to achieve their business goals. However, it is essential that these participants continue to receive support even after the project has ended. The partnership established between the Entrepreneurship Training Institute and Youth Challenge International makes this possible.
The participants we have been working with over the past few days have demonstrated a strong interest in launching new ventures. Most have an idea and are looking for validation and guidance to take the next step. One thing that has surprised us over the past week is students’ interest in gaining access to capital and funding. This is the biggest challenge faced by entrepreneurs in Ghana. As a result, we have adjusted our teaching points to address the idea of a “lean start-up” to further cater our curriculum to the needs of our entrepreneurs.
Thanks to YCI, we are able to extend the impact of this program beyond our three-week engagement to a more comprehensive entrepreneurial support system. As we continue to develop our curriculum, this increased engagement provides greater learning opportunities for both the entrepreneurs and the Ivey LEADER Project.