Mondragon University has launched an aid programme, using digital technology, to explore the possibilities of social entrepreneurship in Africa, more specifically in Kenya, called the Africa Basque Challenge. The goal is to develop social and business initiatives to promote the development of rural communities in Kenya and contribute to reducing inequalities through the participation of Basque and Kenyan entrepreneurs.
This programme, which the university is promoting through the international entrepreneurship unit of its Business School, the Mondragon Team Academy, will also enjoy the collaboration of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia through its Department of Internationalization.
According to the university, the programme arose from the “need” to reduce the inequalities found in Africa between the countryside and the cities, and from the “opportunity” of a continent “where there are great opportunities for entrepreneurs to implement new projects due to their needs in a wide range of fields, which makes it a very attractive area from a business point of view”.
This combination of need and opportunity has resulted in a social programme that Mondragon Team Academy has decided to implement; a programme with a vocation for permanence, the first edition of which has been termed ‘Mind the Gap‘. With this programme, the university wants to “support the growth and wealth of the country by studying and promoting social initiatives to help the country grow by contributing to its economic and social development”.
In order to participate in the ‘Mind the Gap’ programme, 20 young people from Kenya and another 20 from the Basque Country will be chosen to form 10 mixed teams (Basques and Kenyans). The teams will compete against each other to design the best proposal, which will be granted 15,000 euros that the winning team will have to invest to implement the project with the help of ‘coaching’ from the Mondragon Team Academy.
The first part of this programme will take place in November in Kenya and will last 10 days. During this time, the participants will have classes, lectures and visits to businesses of interest in the digital and agro-industry fields. The second part will take place in Bilbao in January and will last one week. In this phase, the participants will undergo training in financing and business plans with a view to completing the entrepreneurial proposal, which they will then present at a final event where a jury will select the winning project. All participants will receive one year of online entrepreneurship courses.
Sign up before 10 October
The deadline for signing up ends on 10 October and all the information can be found at its web. For the pre-selection phase of the teams that will be eligible to participate in this first edition of the Africa Basque Challenge, candidates must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a letter or video with information on the teams and their motivation for participating, their CV in English and the proposal.
The implementation of this Basque-African collaboration programme is the first step of the Modragón University international entrepreneurial network in Africa and opens the door to future avenues of cooperation in the region (the only continent, together with Oceania, from which this entrepreneurial network is absent).