IE University Challenge: “COVID Resilience in Africa”
BBA students pilot test the IE University Challenge to aid African organizations with pandemic aftermath.
IE Business School has included a compulsory course for 3rd year Bachelor in Business Administration students to work with several large African companies in order to create solutions for problems caused by Covid-19 in their industries as part of the IE University Challenge.
This challenge will be incorporated in all degree programs throughout the university in the future, however, 370 BBA students from the graduating class of 2022 will be the first to test it out.
“What we really want to do is open your minds about power and the future of this fantastic continent, but also you know what it actually means to engage across different borders that is not just about America, not just about Europe and not just about Asia.”
Mark Smelik, Vice-Dean of IE Business School
The students have been separated into five groups, in which they will work with businesses from five different African countries: diabetic eye care specialist Almouneer in Egypt, traditional African cuisine enterprise Fulani Kitchen in Ghana, women’s technology empowerment center W.tec in Nigeria, fintech company Switchpay in South Africa, and information technology company Tripxio in Uganda.
Students will research the assigned regions and sectors extensively to properly formulate strategies that will aid in solving the dilemmas these businesses are facing.
Over the course of 8 weeks, the students will work together to formulate a plan for each of these companies. At the end of this time period, the finalized execution plan will be presented to the faculty panel.
“There is a huge amount of misinformation that blocks us from truly seeing Africa. We think that there’s a really interesting story to be told, not only around African entrepreneurs and history, but in particular when it comes to cover that in the role of living through right now,” said Felicia Appenteng, the current Chair of the IE Africa Center.
Organizers say they are convinced that the IE University Challenge and this unique opportunity to collaborate with real companies provides students with a competitive advantage in their professional careers starting in their university years.
“We can’t wait to see the projects continue to develop, add the value and create the impact that we know they will,” said Assistant Dean of Undergraduate studies Laura Rojo.