Annual conference"Universities, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in Africa"

African countries are amongst five of the world’s twelve fastest growing economies, with foreign direct investment five times what it was a decade earlier. For its people and for those who want to invest in the future of Africa, the continent offers new opportunities.

Entrepreneurship has proved to be one of the main contributors to economic growth over the years. The start-up and growth cycle of companies is related to the socio-economic benefits of the global world at large. For growth and social change, increasing entrepreneurial projects are fundamental. By seizing opportunities, assuming risks, addressing challenges and taking action, entrepreneurs build value and are also a source of income and livelihood for a majority of the populace, especially in developing countries. In developing and commercializing new innovations, entrepreneurs take chances in ways that larger corporations do not. These innovations sometimes open up whole new markets and change industries.

In supporting the flow of opportunities for venture creation, especially in the consumer goods and food processing industry, universities play an important role in mobilising resources for entrepreneurship and start up activities. In the past, students were usually trained for occupations established by others through university education. However, in order to build new generations of entrepreneurs, universities must provide curricula, facilities and incentives, as well as collaborate with existing businesses and government to achieve the maximum impact when it comes to entrepreneurship development.

Target Participants

This conference aims specifically at bringing together participants from academia, business, and other stakeholders interested in the interplay between education and economic development. It is a forum for researchers and practitioners alike. Thus, the event is a response to the popular request to build bridges of communication between the worlds of education.

Subthemes

The conference theme “Universities, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in Africa” is structured into seven subthemes. They serve only as an orientation for contributions to the conference. All contributions related to the conference theme are welcome, also those which cover more than one subtheme, and those which cannot clearly be assigned to one of the subthemes.

  • Business and entrepreneurship in Africa
  • Entrepreneurial education for employment and economic growth
  • Consumer goods & food processing industries
  • Tourism as entrepreneurial opportunity in Africa
  • University-Industry-Linkages (Applied research & teaching)
  • E-Learning & Digital Entrepreneurship (Digitalization)
  • Sustainable/Responsible business

Session formats


The conference attempts to be entrepreneurial and innovative. Traditional presentations will still play their role, but participants are encouraged to contribute actively and let their voice be heard in interactive formats. Emphasis will be given to networking possibilities and partner search. Therefore, the two-day program encompasses the following formats:

Panel Discussion

A discussion of a subject of public interest by a group of persons forming a panel before an audience.

Interactive Sessions

Interactive session formats such as the World Café or the Fishbowl provide perfect set-ups for interactive sessions.

 

 

Presentations and Discussions

In each session two presentations are held, with ample time for subsequent discussion.

 

Poster sessions

We have poster presentations throughout the entire conference as well as specific poster presentations slots on both conference days.

 

The conference is organized by Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and is part of the project “BET Ghana – Building Expertise and Training for growth in the consumer goods and food processing industry”, financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and administrated by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The project is conducted through the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences in Germany and the University of Cape Coast in Ghana.

The conference continues the successful tradition of the previous years and provides a unique platform in Germany, allowing the exchange among businesses and between industry and academia from Europe and Africa. The conference highlights the issues entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Africa, market entry and market development in Africa, international business between Germany and Africa, as well as enterprise development and the training and recruitment of qualified personnel. Consideration will be given especially for the opportunities of networking between universities and businesses.

The conference was developed in the context of the trilateral University partnership project “German-African University Partnership Platform for the Development of Entrepreneurs and Small/Medium Enterprises” between the above named Universities as well as the University of Nairobi, generously funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Our joint project started off as a small cooperation to establish business incubators at the University of Cape Coast and the University of Nairobi, and to learn from each other’s experience in incubation, entrepreneurship and application orientation in teaching and research. Thereby, we started a process of reflection on the roles of Universities for the professional lives and orientations of students and their responsibilities to local economies and the society at large. The project aims at providing a platform for actors from various sectors to create networks between Universities, students and graduates, business communities and government representatives, between Germany and African Countries. Each year our conference as one format for networking and knowledge sharing has grown bigger and has raised more and more attention and awareness about opportunities for business activities with African partners. We do believe that there is still potential for growth and will continue to facilitate exchange internationally as well as between sectors, and contribute to the discussion on entrepreneurship and development in Germany and Africa.