African HEIs Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development

This project explores, shares, and implements methods and best practices to Entrepreneurship Ecosystem development on HEI campuses in Africa using successful ecosystems on the continent, including Ashesi University’s case. It engages participant HEIs as partners in the process of reviewing, developing, and tracking the Ecosystems on their campuses. Partner HEIs will receive a small grant tied to specific outcomes to support the initial implementation of areas designed.

The project activities will include:

  •  Codifying thriving Entrepreneurship Ecosystems on the continent, including Ashesi University’s model.
  • Giving mentorship and consultative support to select HEIs to review and develop a consolidated Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.
  •  Establishing an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Community of Practice.

Scope

  • The project focuses on the higher education sector in the various sub-regions of the African continent. It will cover Ashesi University and other unique approaches to educating the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders. Specifically, the project will highlight Afro-centric pedagogies and curriculum, governance, policy support, mentorships, funding, stakeholders, and cultural systems of formal entrepreneurship training in African HEIs. Implementation will be within higher education institutions located on the continent.

Target Goals

  • Eight HEIs in Africa will partner in mentorship and consultation with Ashesi University to review and develop their Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.
  • Four of the HEIs will target and support one other HEI in their region to study and develop their Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.
  • At least one major grant funder will commit to helping the twelve partner HEIs grow and establish the ecosystem over three years.
  • An estimated 86,000 students will be direct beneficiaries of the initiative

Benefits for Partner HEIs

  • Develop a structure/core centre that manages the career development of student entrepreneurs.
  • Embed entrepreneurship-related outcomes that encourage proactive problem solving within their curriculum.
  • Receive a grant to support set up and review growth as needed.
  • Receive one-on-one partner mentoring to develop the ecosystem framework and structure.

Expected Project Outcomes

  • The initiative’s main output will be a playbook on ‘Building a student-centred entrepreneurship ecosystem from the ground up – models for Sub-Saharan African HEIs.’ This document will be a collection of cases and approaches to Entrepreneurship Ecosystems implemented under this project.
    • The project falls under one of the Education Collaborative’s five transformation goals: Enabling an active entrepreneurship ecosystem.
    • At the end of engagements under this transformation goal, member institutions will have the tools and know-how to create and sustain a range of institutional and infrastructural systems that nurture creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit in students to solve problems.
    • Member institutions will include a clear academic and non-academic entrepreneurial-skill development policy within their strategy.
    • Member institutions will embed entrepreneurship-related outcomes that encourage proactive problem solving within their curriculum.
    • Member institutions should have a set structure/core centre that manages the career development of student entrepreneurs.

Conditions for Participating INstitution

  • Institution must be an accredited African higher education institution.
  • Must have a lead or champion for the project over the period of engagement.
  • Must be ready and committed to mentor one other institution in region to develop their ecosystem framework and structure. 

For more information, or to apply for mentorship, email Rose Dodd at rdodd@ashesi.edu.gh 

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