Ghanaian, foreign students participate in entrepreneurial partnership

Ghanaian students from some selected senior high schools in the country and their foreign counterparts have been brought together in an entrepreneurial partnership named as the Enterprise without Borders (EwB).

The initiative, a cross-border entrepreneurship programme, which has been made possible by global not-for-profit organisation, Junior Achievement  (JA) in collaboration with leading mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia, is aimed at giving students running mini-companies the opportunity to create international partnerships as part of their JA-YE (Junior Achievement Youth Employment) experience.

Through a website – Enterprise without Borders (EwB) portal, teachers and schools register for participation, while students upload their company profiles and enter an entrepreneurial ‘dating game’.

A statement announcing the partnership says EwB is about students sharing good ideas; selling each others’ products in each others’ markets; reducing costs by getting certain services or product components from other countries; and visiting each other’s markets.

The EwB portal presents the activities of the registered students’ mini-companies operating in different countries. On the portal participating students and schools can familiarise themselves with other colleague’s products and services and they and their schools can also search for partners to communicate and trade with.

The portal operates as a web-shop, while the products and services of the companies registered on the portal can all be viewed there by students and schools. Furthermore, the registered companies are able to create product and service catalogues, and present the company, its activities and members on a separate page.

Through Nokia’s support for the project, 200 students graduated in 2010, while another 300 students graduated in 2011 from 10 schools drawn across three regions (Central, Greater Accra and Volta) of Ghana.

Meanwhile, for this year, the participating schools have also begun possible joint-venture negotiations with their counterparts in Europe and the United States.

Commenting on the partnership, Kwabena G. Kugblenu, EwB Coordinator for Ghana, said the programme promotes access to numerous best practices and also provides participants the opportunity to learn and innovate.

In his remarks, James Rutherfoord, Vice President for Nokia West Africa, said “Nokia is very excited to be part of this programme,” adding, “youth empowerment and leadership are the pivot on which Nokia hinges its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives.

Only last year, students from the Lambertseter Secondary School, Oslo in Norway visited their counterparts in Ghana and they shared useful experiences.

Ghanaian schools participating in the JA/Nokia Enterprise without Borders include Holy Trinity SHS, Jamestown, Accra Academy, Presbyterian Boys Senior High School, and Margaret Mary Senior High School in Accra, as well as Keta Senior High School in Keta.

The rest are Mfantsipim SHS, Aggrey Memorial SHS, St. Augustine’s College, Adisadel College and Ghana National College, all in Cape Coast in the Central Region.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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