Global Partners Awarded Grant for UGBS's Innovation & Incubation Hub Project by U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Ghana
Globally, educational institutions are dedicated to Entrepreneurial studies. Encouraging students from pre-school-college age to develop an entrepreneurial mindset is a vital part of their future employability. Led by Dr. George Acheampong, PhD, The University of Ghana Business School’s (UGBS) Innovation and Incubation Hub started on this path with one thing in mind, his students and their success,
Kolena’s part to build a customized, collaboratory platform for entrepreneurial education and soft skills development is a small but important role in today’s world of global thinking. This allows for a digital hub where collaboration and innovation may thrive. The University of Ghana is being supported by Kolena through its technology and also during virtual pitch events and mentoring Other U.S. colleagues, Global Ties Akron’s Michelle Wilson, OC Community Colleges’ Dr. Cathleen Greiner, PhD, and Dr. Richard Fleming, Nuero-Architect, join in have to provide invaluable guidance and perspective to the students. Kolena’s COO, Jean-Pierre Fallou, made the Hub possible through his creative development.
After recently learning of their official award status, the core team may now continue the much needed support for Ghanaian students. Most do not have Internet in their homes, so a mobile app may be in their future!
A Special Thank You to the U.S. State Department
U.S. Embassy Ghana for Supporting Us!
“It is inspiring and exciting to see the Global Online Collaboratory Hub become a reality. We can’t wait to witness the entrepreneurial students of UGBS dream big in solving their country’s problems as they move their concepts toward reality.
Akron’s entrepreneurial community looks forward to participating virtually as mentors as they connect with the Ghanaian students in their search for success.”
– Michelle Wilson, Executive Director, Global Ties Akron
Dr. Acheampong, PhD Leads Innovation & Incubation Hub
Acheampong and team have worked tirelessly to develop the curriculum for 1500 students who pass through his and two supporting colleagues’ classrooms each week. With an official press release for the overall project in October of 2019 stating, “Dr. George Acheampong, a lecturer with the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship leads the project. He mentioned that the Hub will have a working section, where ‘stupreneurs’ can work on their ideas; sections for seminars and pitches, and a recreational section where ‘stupreneurs’ can relax.” Dr. Acheampong set his 2020 goal to hone in on the classroom (in-person) curriculum, competition, pitch event, and the physical build-out of the Hub space.
In 2021, Kolena collaborated on its digital hub with Dr. Acheampong. They continue to support the student entrepreneurs addressing basic needs for the Ghanaian people. Such areas include: safety, security, food, and water. Inspirational work!
Dr. Acheampong shares his comments, “The University of Ghana Business School is thrilled to have partnered with Kolena and Global Ties Akron to win the grant and implement the online collaborative platform. This ties into the vision of the University of Ghana to raise entrepreneurial leaders that will create jobs for themselves and the larger community. I am particularly excited to be part of this project that provides a new model for training future entrepreneurs to impact the world.”
Our focus centers on this crucial challenge defined by the Africa Centre for Entrepreneurship and Youth Empowerment. It also addresses UN Sustainable Development Global Goals. Currently, The University of Ghana does not have a global collaborative and an experiential approach. By combining the UGBS’s Hub with the Kolena online learning model, its reach will extend across the campus, into the community and worldwide to work with teams, mentors and partners in Akron, Ohio and Orange County, California.
Please Direct Questions To: Tracy Tanner, Kolena, CEO at Tracy.Tanner@Kolena.com
Becoming Global Friends & Partners During A Pandemic
“This project, partnership, and establishing a long-term relationship is a model for what the future of work looks like. Now–more than ever–focusing on entrepreneurial skills and mindset, emphasizing global interconnectedness, and supporting students in achieving their goals is essential for innovation and genuine problem-solving to occur. Working with Kolena and the University of Ghana is truly inspirational!”
– Dr. Cathleen Greiner, PhD, Regional Director Business & Entrepreneurship Sector, Orange County California Community Colleges
Tracy Tanner was invited to attend the California Educators Entrepreneurs Conference in April 2020 by Dr. Cathleen Greiner, PhD, Regional Director, OC CA Community Colleges. This is where Ms. Tanner and Dr. Acheampong, Senior Lecturer University of Ghana Business School, met and shared their projects.
With a formal press release under leaders support (October of 2019), and, in 2020 forging ahead during a pandemic, Dr. Acheampong had a smile on his face and was focused on the end game, developing a robust program and physical space for the students.
After learning of Dr. Acheampong’s project Ms. Tanner reached out to Sam DeShazior, Director of Business Retention and Expansion, City of Akron, OH. In 2016, Global Ties Akron and the City established the Akron-Accra Partnership Board. Mr. DeShazior committed to connect Kolena with Michelle Wilson, Executive Director Global Ties Akron.
Ms. Wilson found the appropriate grant for Kolena’s and The University’s project. Ms. Wilson and Ms. Tanner filed for the U.S. Embassy grant in April 2021, receiving official notice in September. Teamwork!
Ghanaian Students Present…U.S. Business Leaders & Educators Listen
On June 3, 2021, all of the partners and twelve teams of student entrepreneurs came together for a virtual pitch event. This inspirational group focused on basic needs. Listening and providing feedback to the teams was pivotal in giving them a different perspective. However, what we as industry leaders learned was inspirational. Startup ideas included that of agriculture, safety, shelter, and water needs. Experiencing first-hand that many do not have access to some of these luxuries further exemplifies that encouragement and support is long overdue.
Per a LinkedIn post, Dr. Richard Fleming shared his experience, “Africa – Thrilled and Inspired! Grateful to have this time…The university students innovation genius to both OBSERVE and INNOVATE quickly to solve REAL and MOONSHOT ideas is Outstanding!”
“The pandemic opened windows with Zoom, and our eyes, heads and hearts – to collaborate, educate and innovate on a GLOBAL platform. I look forward to sharing more Innovation Award Recipients shortly.”
– Dr. Richard Fleming – Neuro-Architect
Our goals are to develop the digital ecosystem to the point it involves the community. This would include all facets such as investors, mentors, sponsors, and thought leaders. Other areas to be addressed are mobile access as well as hosting Dr. Acheampong’s curriculum for the students. This is a critical point for their digital engagement. Lastly but equally important, Dr. Greiner will be hosting a 2022 Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference on the Global stage, inviting young Ghanaian ‘stupreneurs’ to learn.