Babson Undergraduate Dean Dennis Hanno and 45 students, faculty and staff are spending winter break in Ghana, teaching entrepreneurship and business to high school students and adult learners. This year they will also be teaching basic microfinance to elementary school students.
The program, begun ten years ago while Hanno was at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has grown from 12 student participants creating a computer center in a village church, to 36 Babson undergrads, four MBA students, four Babson faculty and staff and an outside consultant teaching business basics to over 1000 Ghanaian learners from elementary school age to adult. The Babson undergraduate students on the trip consist of three sophomores, three juniors and 30 seniors.
While in Ghana, twelve of the undergraduate students will also be working on the One Hen project. The One Hen program teaches children to be financially responsible global citizens and equips them with skills that help them succeed in school and beyond. The One Hen Boston/Ghana Project is a partnership with BELL National, City Year, The Jenzabar Foundation, and Babson College to reach 100 underprivileged children in Boston as well as three elementary schools in Ghana.
As the Babson program has developed, so has interest from corporate sponsors. Coordinated by Babson College and the Nyansa Project, companies who supported the trip and the purchase of computers include StoneTurn Group, Bose Corporation and Caturano & Company. In addition, Babson students pitched in to fund a computer lab in a high school as did recent alumna Alexandra Trexler-Machado M’09 and her family. Four new computer labs will be installed in area high schools as a result of these gifts.
“When the project started, the primary goal of the trip was to work with interested students to help them learn about entrepreneurship, business planning and personal development, but much more than that happens,” says Dean Hanno. “Friendships and bonds are formed and the knowledge shared during the two weeks will last a lifetime—on both sides of the ocean. This amazing and impactful experience really is global citizenship at its finest.”
The two-week winter mission to bring Babson business skills and a curriculum for young entrepreneurs to developing areas of Africa is documented on postings made to Dean Hanno’s blog Dean’s Digest: Musings from the undergraduate dean Dennis Hanno.
Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., is recognized internationally as a leader in entrepreneurial management education. Babson grants BS degrees through its innovative undergraduate program, and grants MBA and custom MS and MBA degrees through the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. Babson Executive Education offers executive development programs to experienced managers worldwide. For information, visit www.babson.edu
By Nancy Sullivan, firstname.lastname@example.org
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1/12/2010 12:00 AM