Business Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies (Ghana)

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Learn and apply concepts of entrepreneurship and business planning, including assessment using the Business Model Canvas and SWOT analysis, working with owners of microenterprises located in resource-limited rural communities in Ghana.

Students are guided by our local economic development professionals to work with Ghanaian business owners to discuss, analyze, and develop business plans to address issues and challenges. Working in small teams, students will meet multiple times with their clients to assess their business, learn the challenges that entrepreneurs face in Ghana, complete industry research, apply concepts of microfinance to improve their business, and utilize our deliverable templates to create and then present customized business plans to their clients.

In addition to our skills-based learning objectives, seeking to build intercultural competence is integrated into the course. A final executive summary presentation and the client business plan will be developed with the assistance of our staff.

Business Entrepreneurship Learning Objectives

Students that successfully complete the Business Entrepreneurship Program will be able to

  • Analyze economic and social issues impacting rural communities in a developing country.
  • Discuss concepts of microfinance utilized in community banking in an African country.
  • Consult with clients from rural communities in a developing country.
  • Analyze a business’s strengths and weaknesses to develop appropriate solutions.
  • Collaborate with student colleagues and rural-based business owners to develop business plans to help their clients improve their businesses.
  • Develop and deliver educational services to vocational school students and their teachers.

Resources provided in support of the virtual sessions and Modules

  • Bilingual, on-the-ground session facilitators and client liaisons with business backgrounds who will coordinate each virtual session with students.
  • A translator is provided in each virtual session in which students engage with business clients.
  • Corporate consultant drawn from major consulting firms.
  • Full-time local teams that work year-round to support business clients.
  • Electronic support materials in Canvas (LMS) are provided to all students.
  • Session scheduling that coordinates all class meetings and meetings with business clients.
  • Students in each program will work with two business clients in small working groups.


There are twelve Modules in the Business Entrepreneurship Program that can be variously assembled to build programs of the appropriate length and focus.

Module 1: Introduction to Kambia/Global Brigades, Economic Context in Ghana, Social Determinants Impacting the Economic Situation, and What Does It Mean to be a Consultant in an International Context? (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

Discuss the mission and vision of Kambia/Global Brigades, the economic context in Ghana, the social determinants affecting the economic situation of rural communities in this country, and key principles of international business consulting.

Module 1 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Students will reflect on how to achieve a sustainable business when consulting internationally.

Module 2: The Challenges of an Entrepreneur in a Rural Community, Global Brigades Role, and How to Consult in Rural Communities in Ghana (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

Understand the challenges of an entrepreneur in a rural community and the role of Global Brigades to support them. Also, students will understand the key communication skills used in consulting with a rural-based business in Ghana: active listening, empathy, curiosity, being respectful, and being open to feedback; understanding the challenges that rural business owners face; and understanding the challenges that prevent these business owners from being successful.

Module 2 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Students will complete activities on key communication skills used in the international business consulting process and the cultural factors that are important to keep in mind while consulting with a rural business owner.

Module 3: The Business Model Canvas to get to know your business client (contact time: 2 hours)

Deploy the Business Model Canvas (BMC) to assess business operations during a business consultation session, identify current key business outcomes, and identify potential improvements based on the client’s profile. Students begin to write the questions to be asked to their client on Module 4 using the blocks from the BMC.

Module 3 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Students continue to write questions for their client to create their BMC assessment plan. Students will draft a brief statement in Spanish that they will use to introduce themselves to the client.

Module 4: Meeting the Client session 1 (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

Introductory meeting between the client (entrepreneur) and each student group. Students will obtain qualitative information from a rural entrepreneur, while using communication skills such as active listening and rapport-building during the business consultation.

Module 4 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Students will review the details of their client session and summarize their findings.

Module 5: Working Session 1 and SWOT Analysis (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

Students will work in groups to analyze their client’s business based on the client interview to identify challenges. Students will also apply SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to information in every BMC segment. They will begin to identify solutions to meet the market needs of the client’s challenges, prepare new questions to be asked of the client in Module 6 to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed solutions, and present these findings to the session facilitator and client liaisons in the following session to obtain feedback.

Module 5 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Students continue to prepare questions to be asked of their client in Module 6

Module 6: Working with the Client, Session 2 (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

Student groups will continue to interview their clients to clarify questions about their businesses and to gain input to formulate solutions for client issues.

Module 6 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Student groups will analyze the results of client interviews to begin to draft client business plans.

Module 7: Working Session 2 (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

Student groups will continue to work on their clients’ business plans and continue to develop solutions with the information received in Modules 4 and 6. They prepare a brief presentation of their findings, along with the client business plans, to get feedback from the corporate consultant in Module 8.

Module 7 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Student groups continue to revise the presentation of their findings and the client business plans for the corporate consultant meeting in Module 8.

Module 8: Presentation to the Corporate Consultant for Feedback (contact time: 2 hours) 

Student groups present their findings and the client business plans to the corporate consultant for feedback.

Module 8 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Student groups continue to revise their presentations and their client business plans.

Module 9: Working Session 3 (Contact time: 2 hours est.) 

Students in their groups prepare a Written Report, which consists of the client profile, BMC, SWOT analysis, business plan with solutions to client issues and challenges, timeline for implementation, and explanations of options, solutions identified, and options for implementation.

Students also begin to prepare an Executive Summary Presentation of their Written Report for their student colleagues, faculty, session facilitator, and client liaisons.

Module 9 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Student groups continue to finalize their Written Report and Executive Summary Presentation.

Module 10: Executive Summary Presentation (Contact time: 2 hours est.) 

Student Groups present their Executive Summary for feedback from their student colleagues, faculty, session facilitator, and client liaisons.

Module 10 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Student Groups continue to revise their Written Report that will be submitted to their faculty member, and the business plans and deliverables for their client presentation.

Module 11: Student Group Presentations to Clients (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

Student Groups present their business plans and deliverables to their clients for feedback.

Module 11 – Self-paced follow-up activities:

Student Groups complete revisions and finalize their Written Report and the client business plans and deliverables.

Module 12: Discussion on Client Consultation Experience and Final Reflection (Contact time: 1-2 hours est.)

Discussion and reflection on the client consultation experience. Student group Written Reports are separately submitted to their faculty, and final business plans and deliverables are submitted for their clients.


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