Over the long school break, five members of Ashesi including one alumni participated in the New Business Challenge held in both Ghana and in the Netherlands. The students Chantel Bekoe ’17, Winnie Gunn ’17, Gloria Nuerkie Nuertey ‘17, Kwabena Twumasi ANkra ’19 and alumnus Victor Kafui Vorgbe '16 were selected from a competitive pool of over 300 students from both countries.

The New Business Challenge is a unique student business case competition where 20 Dutch and 20 Ghanaian students work together for 2 months in mixed teams on actual business cases from 5 participating companies. This challenge focuses on discovering new opportunities for the private sector and maximizing the entrepreneurial potential of the student participants.

As part of their experience, the students worked with teams from both Ghana and the Netherlands on innovative solutions that help to impact the world. Over the five-week period, students from both countries have a rare cultural exchange, working on projects in both locations.

For senior Chantel Bekoe '17, the opportunity helped her gain insight into the international business landscape. "The opportunity to work on real business cases using knowledge from two different continents made me realize that globalization could be one of the best things that has happened to civilisation,” she said. “The ease with which businesses can operate on an international scale, despite the miles existing between countries shows the importance of information technology. Working with 20 Dutch students and 19 Ghanaian students enabled me gain a broader perspective on how countries could gain from each other.”

The cases the teams tackled included renewable energy solutions for farmers, bridging the gaps in the animal and aquaculture sector, mobile farming for smallholder farmers, local entrepreneurship for sanitation facilities and sustainable IT solutions for junior high schools.

As part of the experience, participants also had the opportunity to learn about new cultures and expand their networks while gaining insight into how they could help contribute to problem solving within their locality, and beyond. “It was an amazing experience,” said Winnie Gunn '17. “I was able to try out new foods, including a grasshopper, see new places, and also build stronger networks.”