Monday, May 23, 2011


In Ghana this august? want to do some cool and useful volunteer work for the greater good? check out the program from my friends at Young Entrepreneurs Africa.

Young Entrepreneurs, Africa (YE,A) is a not-for-profit organization that empowers underprivileged young Africans to develop themselves and Africa through entrepreneurship.

A thriving private sector is key to driving growth in capitalist economies. The right blend of fresh ideas from creative entrepreneurs, solid business models, and good management teams often determines the success of new enterprises.

Yet, only a tiny percentage of underprivileged students obtain tertiary-level education, and too many African countries' secondary-level education leave these students ill-equipped to contribute to the private sector. It is in Africa's interests for this segment of the population to contribute their creativity and business acumen towards developing the continent through enterprise.

This summer, YE,A plans on launching and running an intensive 4 week program that creates an environment for its participants to nurture their creative instincts, develop their business acumen, and learn by actually becoming entrepreneurs. The organization offers participants an opportunity to work in small teams to develop ideas and start up and run a business.

We believe that this experience will teach our participants important lessons about starting a business and working in a structured environment, critical skills they will need to thrive on an emerging continent.

Our mission is to empower underprivileged young Africans to develop themselves and Africa through entrepreneurship.

YE,A's main objectives are to help its participants to:

* nurture their creativity and business talent
* prepare to face business challenges in the future
* identify pain points and opportunities in their immediate environment
* instill a culture of effective teamwork in starting up business ventures
* teach them the impact of entrepreneurship on the development of Africa
* create and maintain network of young entrepreneurs, across the continent, who will use share creative ideas on how they can help develop the continent

Operational Plan

YE,A targets 14- to 18- year-old students in secondary schools.
Each team, consisting of up to seven members, will:
* Organize itself as it deems appropriate, working together, but with individuals selected to assume the responsibilities of Chief Executive, Finance Director, Marketing Director, Sales Director, etc.
* Generate business ideas and pick one idea for a business
o Each business idea must focus on using any resources available to them to provide a product or service that others are willing to buy
* Write a business plan for their idea
* Raise capital by pitching their idea to YE,A, our corporate partners, or any other individuals or organizations of their choosing in exchange for "shares" in their company
o To keep teams on a level playing field and avoid turning this into a fund-raising exercise, YE,A caps the limit any team may raise at $500
o The business idea they come up with must be one that will be beneficial to the society
* Set up operations and attempt to grow their businesses

The summer program will be intensive and will run over a 4 week period during the long (summer) vacation.

YE,A will set up a mentorship programme, in which mentors will meet with the teams they are assigned to, daily, to guide them in setting up their business processes. The role of the mentor is merely to advise teams; mentors may not make any decisions for any team. The mentors are individuals - local or foreign business owners, MBA graduates, teachers, artists etc - who believe in the vision of YE,A.

YE,A will also arrange for visiting speakers to offer insights on strategy, finance, and other business practices during the programme.

Realizing reward for hard work is part of the entrepreneur's reality. At the end of the programme, YE,A will judge businesses from the various teams and reward members of the winning project with:

1) paid internship opportunities for all six team members in a business development role in partner company/start-up AND
2) Up to $1,000 seed capital to develop their idea further.

Each project will be judged on the basis of:
1. Creativity of business idea
2. Implementation of idea
3. Synergy of team; ability to work together cohesively
4. Record-keeping and presentation

Mentor Roles and Responsibilities
YE,A seeks to recruit individuals with a mix of skills and experience to serve as mentors. These individuals will be committed to the organization's cause, believe in its mission and be willing to share their knowledge with the students.

We ask mentors to:
1. Commit to spending a minimum of two weeks in Ghana in order to take part in this program.
2. Be present at all meetings. The program runs Mondays through Fridays, 9am through 2:30pm. Fridays will be set aside for team building activities, workshops and site visits.
Each team has two mentors. In the event, that one mentor is not able to attend a session, please ensure the other is present.
3. Teach basic business models
4. Offer advice and guidance ONLY. We want the students to use their creativity to take initiative and think
5. Track use of funds
6. Provide moral support (only for competition)
7. Fill out evaluation sheets during every other meeting. We will use these to assess the progress of the students as they go through the program
8. Be present at the launch and/or the closing event for this summer program


August 1st, 2011 through August 26th, 2011

More Information for Non-Ghanaian mentors

YE,A will provide information on flights.
We understand that the cost involved is high and will subsidize it by providing accommodation, some meals and free transportation to and from the location.
Guided tours to some significant historic and cultural sites such as the Cape Coast Castle, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Kakum Forest etc., will be offered for those interested.

Deadline to sign up to be a mentor: July 7th, 2011

If you are interested in being a mentor or have any questions, please contact Kobby Adams at or +233 27 7551957 in Ghana
Lindy Larson at or +44 07904611229 in the UK
Arthur Toole at or +1 210 842 0026 in the US

For more information about YE,A:

‘Like’ our facebook page:

and Follow us on Twitter:!/yeaonline