All Posts (31)

On December 7th 2016, the Talloires Network's Support Grant Program for Engaged Faculty in Africa hosts a webinar with five presenters from Cameroon, Germany and South Africa. We are glad to have senior officers from MasterCard Foundation and African Leadership Academy and attendees from Kenya, Uganda, Ghana... join the meeting.

Elvis Akomoneh is a Lecturer and former Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Saint Monica University Cameroon and Guest Lecturer at the University of Bamenda, Northwest Cameroon. He is currently a final-year PhD student at the University of Buea. With a strong background in Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Medical Laboratory Technology, his research interest centers around emerging infectious diseases, an established cause for morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Elvis actively embeds civic engagement in his teaching and research. He initiated the Saint Monica University Health Center Franchise Project while working as the Coordinator of the School of Health and Human Services and is currently overseeing the projects in communities.
To begin, Elvis introduces how health students at Saint Monica University are prepared for life upon graduation through community-engaged healthcare services. Initiated in September 2013, the Health Center Franchise Project aims at developing a franchise system, whereby graduates of the Saint Monica University nursing and physician assistant programs will be able to establish health centers across the country, especially in underserved areas, thereby providing much needed healthcare in remote areas, while providing jobs for the healthcare professionals and strengthening the local economy.

Thomas Schrader, Professor at the Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences (Technische Hochschule Brandenburg, Germany), is a Certified Pathologist and Professor of Applied Informatics (medical informatics). His teaching and research interest includes but not limited to: Telemedicine, eHealth, mHealth (working with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, sensors and actors) Biomedical Signal Processing, Digital Medical Image Processing, Medical Process Modeling, Assistance Systems in Medicine and Patient Safety.
Thomas is the architect behind the Telemedicine suitcase mTirage and helps us to understand the principle of the device as well as its workability in African communities.

Kenedy Abendong is a Nursing and a Public Health master’s student in the School of Health and Human Services, Saint Monica University. He’s currently the administrator of Access Care Clinic, a product of the Health Center Franchise Project which was founded with support from the Talloires Network’s Faculty Support Grant Program.
In the webinar, Kenedy presents the community engagement projects of his peers working at the clinic and “the health insurance scheme” established for the community.

Sunitha Srinivas is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University, South Africa. She has 23 years of experiences in the field: from a specialist at India Medicines Information Centre and India World Health Organization Essential Medicines Program to a community-engaged health advocate at Rhodes University.
In this second part, Sunitha demonstrates the networking for public health on behalf of Mr. Thandi Mzizi, Rhodes University’s Institutional Wellness Specialist on “Peer Educators Network for Health Promotion at Rhodes”. She also explains the employability skills that students learn from the project.

Her master’s student, Theodore Duxbury, is supported by a Research Development Grant for his research on Workplace Health Promotion: Tobacco Use. He’s working with Peer Educators in a collaborative manner to initiate sustainable development-based on health promotion.
To end the presentations, he reports on “Progress of Developing and End User Testing Culturally Sensitive and Contextually Specific Health Information Leaflets”.

Watch the webinar below and feel free to contact us for any comments or questions! 

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The Talloires Network cordially invites you to join the discussion with our awardees Elvis Akomoneh, Sunitha Srinivas, their students and partners to discuss about employability skills as a result of community-engaged healthcare projects in Cameroon and South Africa.

WHEN AND WHERE:10:15-11:30 AM EST, Wednesday December 7, 2016 in the 3rd floor conference room, Ballou Hall, Tufts University (1 The Green, Medford, MA 02155). No RSVP required.

1. Click at the time of the webinar: 10:15-11:30 AM EST i.e. 3:15- 4:30 PM GMT. Check your time zone here.
2. In the WebEx window that opens, enter your name and email address.
3. Click Join to launch the WebEx virtual session. Note: You may be asked to download a plug in the first time you enter a meeting.
4. To connect to Audio click the button Call Using Computer.

Part 1: Project in Cameroon
   Introduction by Elvis Akomoneh (Lecturer at Saint Monica University, Cameroon)
   Presentation by Thomas Schrader (Professor at Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences i.e. Technische Hochschule Brandenburg, Germany)
   Presentation by Kenedy Abendong (MA student at Saint Monica University and Administrator at Access Care Clinic, Cameroon)
Part 2: Project in South Africa
   Presentation by Sunitha Srinivas (Associate Professor at Rhodes University, South Africa) on behalf of Thandi Mzizi (Institutional Wellness Specialist)
   Presentation by Theodore Duxbury (MA student at Rhodes University)
Part 3: Open discussion

We look forward to seeing you!
If you have any questions, please contact

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Three presenters from LivingStone International University (LIU), Mbale, Uganda
(L-R): Stephen Wamembo (fourth-year student), Deborah Nassanga (fourth-year student), and Filliam Efiti (Dean and Lecturer at School of Media Technology)

On October 27th 2016 Efiti Filliam, Nassanga Deborah, and Wamembo Stephen in Uganda conducted a webinar on Internship Program and Community Engagement. Efiti is an awardee of the Talloires Network's University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa (UETLA) Faculty Support Grant.

Filliam Efiti is the Dean and Lecturer at the School of Media Technology, LivingStone International University (LIU), Mbale, Uganda. Community engagement at the University centers around the Internship Program in which Filliam is the initiator and coordinator. This compulsory, credit-bearing Internship Program effectively stimulates the development and education of both students and communities. Some major community partners of LIU include Bungokho Rural Development Center, Jenga Center, and Good News Production International (GNPI). Ongoing projects have helped construct energy saving stoves for rural communities, train hair dressing and entrepreneurial skills for local young females, build public health and leadership capacity for both students and communities, and organize workshops on internship and leadership.

In this webinar, Filliam introduces his university and partnership with the local communities, Bungokho Rural Development Center and Jenga Community Development Center. He explains the approach, criteria, and objectives of their community-engaged internship program. Deborah and Stephen then elaborate how this internship program are beneficial to both students and communities. They show concrete examples, statistics, and images of their various projects such as construction of energy-saving stoves, video documentary shoot, income generation, community health and monitoring, and outreach to the needy.

Watch the webinar below and stay tuned for the next webinar from UETLA grantees!

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Experimentation in Veracruz - by Carol Carrier

Written by Carol Carrier, University of Minnesota Learning Partner

I spent a very interesting week at the University of Veracruz during the week of Oct 10. This was my third site visit to that very dynamic university and its flourishing YEPI program. Several impressions were particularly pronounced for me this time.

First, I felt very grateful to have participated in the convening in Talloires, France this past September. Being together that week, with so much opportunity for conversation, spread across a number of informal settings, encouraged all of us to reveal more of ourselves, to be more natural with our colleagues. I felt that as we got to know one another better, it allowed us to be more comfortable honestly discussing a range of topics. Getting opportunities to play together—swimming, sleeping under the same roof in our respective houses, eating great food, drinking wine and dancing (even if badly!)—strengthened our own sense of being on the YEPI team. Throughout the week, our ideas grew more expansive; our laughter became more frequent and spontaneous. Most of us came away from the convening feeling energized as we looked in the future, with new ideas germinating and optimism abounding. This experience set me up well for the third site visit to Mexico.

Second, I observed how the Veracruz YEPI team has experimented with their program components over the three years, sculpting these new approaches that better address deficiencies staff has observed in their program. One example (200) is a new program they implemented that provides work readiness training and resources for students who enter local businesses and agencies to work for 4 months in practical professional experiences. So, for example, the student who is majoring in finance at the University works as a financial person for a luxury car dealer. The UV nursing student spends her four months in a professional role at a gerontology center, gaining practical experience attractive to employers within this industry. What employers told me is that UV has been responsive to their need to have a pool of new graduates better prepared to enter the workforce, to have more skills that make the start-up employment flow more easily.

Third, I observed that teams of entrepreneurs consisting of both men and women, demonstrate that leadership is not limited to one gender but can flourish when either men or women leaders, valuing collaboration, engage one another. I interviewed a number of these teams and was struck with their intensity, practicality and commitment to their ideas. Reaching out to take advantage of all available resources available, these teams are producing products and services that are innovative but also practical. Many of these teams pitch their innovations in local, regional or national competitions and often are among the winners.

I left Mexico this third time filled with admiration for how our colleagues at the University of Veracruz are slowly integrating the YEPI program components and spirit into the fabric of this university and the communities it serves.

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On July 7th 2016 Sunitha Srinivas and Theodore Duxbury conducted a webinar on Gender and Leadership in Health Promotion. Sunitha is an awardee of the Talloires Network's University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa (UETLA) Faculty Support Grant. Theodore is her graduate students at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University.

They discuss how the role of gender and leadership can be enhanced to initiate health promotion activities in the workplace to combat the epidemic increase in non-communicable diseases in South Africa. The presenters explore the wellness model, which emphasizes disease prevention and the promotion of health.The presentation also shows how Theodore Duxbury and Praise Marara, as two graduate students working with Peer Educators at Rhodes, have incorporated Sustainable Development Goals and UN-based developments into the Workplace Health Promotion on Tobacco and Alcohol Use projects.

Watch the webinar below, and stay tuned for more webinars from UETLA grantees! 

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The Talloires Network invites you to join the discussion with our UETLA Faculty Support Grant awardee Filliam Efiti and his two students at the School of Media Technology and School of Business Administration, LivingStone International University (Mbale, Uganda) on the benefits, experiences, and challenges of internship partnering between the university and the local community.

When: 9-10 AM EST i.e. 4-5 PM Uganda time, Thursday October 27, 2016. Check your time zone here.

How to join:
1. Click at the time of the webinar. No RSVP required. 
2. In the WebEx window that opens, enter your name and email address.
3. Click Join to launch the WebEx virtual session. Note: You may be asked to download a plug in the first time you enter a meeting
4. To connect to Audio click the button Call Using Computer

1. Introduction by Filliam Efiti
2. Presentation by Debora Nassanga
3. Presentation by Stephen Wambebo 
4. Open discussion

Meet the panelists:
Filliam Efiti is the Dean and Lecturer at School of Media Technology, LivingStone International University. Professionally, he is a journalist and currently a PhD student in Communication and Media at Kisii University, Kenya. He has 25 years of experience in the field of media and community engagement ranging from African Development Bank Smallholders Agricultural Program in Uganda, Refugee Repatriation programs in Uganda and South Sudan with Danish Refugee Council, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Northern Uganda to Internship program entrenchment as solution to joblessness and community engagement in LivingStone International University. He will facilitate the webinar to discuss how the University’s Internship Program has ignited development in the community setting as well as provided optimum chances for interns to get employed and to create their own jobs.
Filliam will introduce how the combination of Internship Program and community engagement, a remarkable phenomenon in higher education, has helped community to become self-sustained while graduates have become more exposed and engaged. 

Deborah Nassanga is a fourth-year student at School of Media Technology. She coordinates Internship and Student-Community Engagement projects. She will continue this position until 2017. She leads 11 Media Technology students whose internship program relies on how to build attachment, intimacy and innovation in social and entrepreneurship with the communities through media, technology, and public communication (assertive communication style). They launched two major community attachment programs through meetings, practicum, and workshops. They are also shooting two documentaries this year in collaboration with community groups within Bungokho Rural Development Program.
Deborah held the position of Guild Speaker, and is well known for being a public speaker and community mobilizer in rural setting especially on health issues and community sustenance. She will present two practical cases of LivingStone International University's Internship Program: (i) workshop with communities on leadership and (ii) constructing energy saving stoves.

Stephen Wamembo is another fourth-year student pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration at Livingstone International University. He held several leadership positions which include but not limited to being Chairperson for Youth Ministry Bubulo Parish, Mbale Diocese Church of Uganda, General Secretary for Youth Leadership 2011-2016 of Manafwa Town Council, Minister for Academics/Disciplinary Affairs 2014-2015, Guild President of Livingstone International University 2015-2016, Student’s Mentor 2015-2016, Coordinator for Volunteering Club 2014-2016, Assistant Project Manager for English Club to support students from non-English speaking nations 2015-2016.
Stephen led the interns who were placed at Jenga Community Development Outreach (CDO) in 2016. He was involved in community engagement in health programs, entrepreneurship, and training community leaders and developing relations with the communities. He will present three practical cases of the Internship Program: (i) income generation for parents living with HIV and care givers of orphans, (ii) community health and monitoring, and (iii) outreach to the street children and remand home.

We look forward to seeing you in the webinar!
If you have any questions, please contact

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(L-R): Zanele Nkabinde, Robynn Ingle-Moller, Manchala Sithole, and Martina Jordaan

On September 29th 2016 Martina Jordaan, Robynn Ingle-Moller, Zanele Nkabinde, and Manchala Sithole in South Africa conducted a webinar on Sustainability of Community-Engaged Projects. Dr. Martina Jordaan is an awardee of the Talloires Network's University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa (UETLA) Faculty Support Grant.

Martina is a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria. For the past 11 years, she has been responsible for Community-based Project Module (JCP), a compulsory module for all undergraduate students of the Faculty Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology. On behalf of campus-community partners, Robynn is from Bester Birds and Animal Zoo Park and Zanele is from Stanza Bopape Community Centre. Manchala is a representative of students who worked as mentors of the Module.

In their presentation, Martina gives the overview of the Community-based Project Module at her university, its three goals, vast number of enrolled students and diversity of implemented projects. She expounds how we can define and evaluate the sustainability of community-engaged projects - what it means to three groups of stakeholders: faculty, students, and communities. Robynn and Zanele help us to learn more about the projects and partnership that University of Pretoria have with their organizations. Lastly, Manchala presents about importance of mentorship for student development and exposure, and about what criteria and strategies are for sustaining the projects.

Watch the webinar below and stay tuned for more webinars from our Engaged Faculty!

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The Talloires Network invites you to join the discussion with our UETLA Faculty Support Grant awardee Martina Jordaan, her student and community partners at University of Pretoria (South Africa) on the challenges in sustaining community projects.

Martina Jordaan is a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria responsible for the compulsory module, Community-based Project Module (JCP), for all undergraduate students of the Faculty Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology. Two campus-community partners, Robynn-Ingle Moller from Bester Birds and Animal Zoo Park and Brenda Motau from Stanza Bopape Community Centre as well as one student who worked as a mentor of the module, Manchala Sithole, will all be part of the discussion.

This Community-based Project Module was used as an example of a blended learning approach for a service learning module for non-service related courses in a text book about service learning in South Africa. The success of the module reflects in the positive feedback from the communities and students. From 2005 more than 16,628 students, representing various cultures, communities and countries, have worked in 4,782 projects with 3,428 different campus-community partners in different countries and from various sectors of the community. 

When8-9 AM EST i.e. 2-3 PM South Africa time, Thursday September 29, 2016. Check your time zone here.

How to join:
1. Click at the time of the webinar
2. In the WebEx window that opens, enter your name and email address.
3. Click Join to launch the WebEx virtual session. Note: You may be asked to download a plug in the first time you enter a meeting
4. To connect to Audio click the button Call Using Computer.

1. Introduction by Martina Jordaan
2. Presentation by campus-community partners - Robynn-Ingle Moller and Brenda Motau
3. Presentation by student - Manchala Sithole
4. Discussion

If you have any questions, please contact

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Teaching Others Leads to Shared Rewards

Prepared by: Carol Carrier, U of Minnesota

Shamshubaridah Ramlee, UKM

Anie MTawil, UKM

There’s an old adage that suggests you know something well only when you can teach it successfully to others.  Another twist in that logic is to recognize that when you do teach someone something that you already know well, this often becomes a surprising opportunity to discover that your own knowledge can be further enriched.  I was reminded of the truth of these wisdoms in a recent site visit to UKM in Malaysia.    While I have been to Malaysia twice before to work with our Malaysian colleagues on YEPI-related matters, this was my first trip to their partner in Indonesia—IBI Darmajaya.

The IBI Darmajaya is a very interesting institution.  It was established as a private institute in the mid 90’s.  It is part of the empire of one family, whose parents were the initial founders and executives but which is now run by several of the sons of this family.  This same family also owns a private hospital and a private Islamic school, among other holdings.  This institute has a limited number of program offerings and currently enrolls about 4000 undergraduate and certificate students.  Its major areas of focus are computer science and the goal of the current rector is to obtain full university status for the institute.

UKM and IBI Darmajaya have become partners.  Why?  Because both institutions share the goal of producing entrepreneurs who can launch and sustain SMEs. The governments of both countries recognize the important role that entrepreneurs can play in furthering the economic development of their respective countries and both governments look to their universities as a source of developing the entrepreneurial mindset and the hard and soft skill sets that are essential to success as entrepreneurs.  The collaborative relationship between UKM CESMED and IBI, supported by YEPI funds, began in 2012.  Prior to collaborative work on YEPI, representatives from the two institutions had visited one another and students had completed exchanges.  Following this successful exchange, several train-the-trainers sessions were offered by CESMED and CITRA staff to lecturers from IBI.  

The nature of the relationship is one in which IBI has thoroughly embraced the various forms of resources made available from UKM, including the Train the Trainers sessions designed to prepare IBI lecturers to deliver UKM entrepreneurship courses/modules to IBI students, consultation, student and faculty exchanges, and other resources from UKM to build further strength in their own entrepreneurship programs and efforts.  But UKM recognizes that it is not working with faculty who are inexperienced.  In fact, IBI has already carried out many activities to support the growth of  its students in becoming entrepreneurs.  The UKM relationship has provided a way to strengthen the formal entrepreneurial curriculum for IBI students without IBI having to develop that curriculum “from scratch.”  It has been important for UKM staff to honor the knowledge and experience of IBI lecturers while helping them further develop their expertise and influence.  

From 2012-2016, a rich relationship has evolved between these two institutions.  In 2014, 10 CESMED lecturers delivered train the trainer sessions to 36 lecturers at IBI.  Topics included helping students develop business ideas, team building, planning and diagnosis, case study writing, operational management and marketing strategies.  Later on in 2014, a small number of UKM lecturers returned to evaluate how the training of IBI students was succeeding.  In August 2016, UKM experts returned to IBI to teach the Netpreneur Train the Trainer session which focuses on using the internet to build e-commerce skills for the students.  In March 2016, UKM and IBI lecturers and students jointly visited selected SMEs.  All of these collaborative activities have nourished IBI’s slogan for its students “to be bold, be vibrant, be a technoprenuer”

No one involved in this collaborative relationship would suggest that it has been easy.  But through the past four years, significant efforts have advanced the knowledge base for both UKM and IBI lecturers, coaches and mentors.  The main winners, of course, are the student participants but all of those involved in the partnership have enriched what they know and how they conduct their practice.

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Along with several staff from the Talloires Network, I have just recently returned from a YEPI site visit at University of Veracruz.  The sights and sounds of that vibrant country are much in my memory, as is the impressive programming at University Veracruz with its multiple campuses.  One of the most visible aspects of their programming is the Engagement Department, with its 80 staff.  This department is coordinating the diffusion of entrepreneurial engagement into every corner of the organization.  It helps, of course, that the Mexican federal government, the State of Veracruz government and the university administration are all aligned on the critical need for entrepreneurial engagement of the university with its many municipalities and regions.  Inside the university, this visit demonstrates that the internal alignment must be equally strong.

With five different campuses located across a large and diverse state, a system-wide office called “Engagement” could be viewed as an intruder to the autonomy of individual campuses or the work of many different faculty areas.   Instead, the Director of Engagement, Dr. Rebeca Hernandez Aramburo, and her staff appear to view their roles as collaborators with the many units that make up the university to advance the entrepreneurial engagement efforts system-wide.  Working in partnership with its many campuses and units should help entrepreneurial engagement gain more ground than wielding a top-down, bureaucratic approach.  

This should mean that the entire university has greater opportunity to advance the work of assisting the diverse regions of their state in strengthening economic development.  A case in point—leaders from a number of organizations have come together, under the leadership of UV, to form a new state committee that will tackle the need for better information about job markets in different fields and about policies that are needed to encourage workforce planning, growth and development.  While the goals of the Committee appear straightforward, anyone with experience in policy-making at a state or university-wide level recognize the persistence and patience that will be needed to get to the implementation stage of new policies in this complex arena. With assistance from YEPI, this effort could have far reaching impact in addressing long standing obstacles to more robust employment in the State.

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The first site visit for the YEPI was conducted at the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Keebangsaan Malaysia or UKM) by the U of M learning partner during the week of April 28 – May 2.  During this week, Dr. Carol Carrier and Dr. David Chapman were briefed on many of the elements of this rich program, housed under the Center for Entrepreneurship and Small/Medium Enterprises Development (CESMED), which has been operational for the past four years.  An especially intriguing component created by CESMED is an entity called the Technocount Program.

What  is Technocount and why was it created?  “Now, every business can have an accountant!” is the slogan of one of the many innovative components of this CESMED model called the Technocount Program.  The role of this CESMED component is to assist SMEs (many of which are considered micro-businesses) in their accounting and financial reporting.  These are critical priorities for SMEs who must provide such information to banks if they wish to secure loans or to the government for tax purposes.  Without this assistance, a large number of the one million plus micro-businesses lack the expertise to complete routine accounting or produce required reports.  One or more from a group of technological accounting consultants in the specialized areas of accounting information systems and internal auditing can help the SMEs with these tasks.

Who are the staff of the Technocount Program?  Staff are current students and alumni from UKM with business/accounting majors.  The work of student employees is carefully reviewed by graduates of UKM with degrees in the accounting and auditing fields.  Increasingly, students from other Malaysian universities in the accounting fields are being recruited to work with Technocount clients as well.   A number of graduates are now choosing to stay with Technocount beyond graduation and some likely will spend their careers with the company.  An important ingredient feeding the success of this component is that the Malaysian government subsidizes this effort.  Funding from the government flows through CESMED to train students and work with SMEs.  CESMED in turn contracts with Technocount to deliver the financial services to the SMEs. 

What has been the impact of the Technocount program?  In 2014, 828 students have been trained across UKM and 14 other universities.  More than 300 SMEs have employed the services of Technocount.  Profits from the Technocount are shared—UKM keeps 30% of the profits and the Techocount Company itself keeps 70%.  Thus, CESMED has found one source to sustain its programs while the Technocount company itself funds it owns growth. 

By the year 2015, Technocount’s target growth goal is to have 50,000 SMEs engaged with 1000 Technocount employees and a revenue of RM 150,000 Mill!

This component has also had important positive benefits for students.  Students can earn money while benefitting from real-world skill building of key accounting and financial processes.  It tackles the unemployment problem for this segment of the market and it students can contribute to the mission of helping lower income people develop and grow their businesses.

In what ways does the Technocount Program enrich the value of the YEPI?  The cleverness of the Technocount Program can be seen in how it weaves together multiple discrete strands that serve to enrich the overall program.  First it enhances the development and career readiness of students who are studying accounting and other related financial topics in their academic programs by providing real world experience with clients who need these services.  Second, it raises the probability of success of the many entrepreneurs who run micro businesses or small businesses and who could not afford to enlist the services of much larger, established firms.  But without access to these services, SMEs cannot compete for loans or cannot benefit from avoiding certain penalties that the government may impose. Third, Technocount leverages government funding for the good of both the SMEs and the students/alums who perform the work for the SMEs.  Fourth, it provides a legitimate vehicle to engage other Malaysian universities in the economic development of the country by recruiting their students to join in the work.



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To be successful, entrepreneurial education and training must move beyond teaching business skills and management.  YEPI findings concur with other studies who found creative and critical thinking to be central to entrepreneurial education and training (EET).  Many of the YEPI partners have developed innovative methods to invite, support, and teach participants a creative thinking process.  In an earlier blog post, I described how paNhari (Zimbabwe) uses public engaged action projects to expand student understanding of social issues and generate business ideas. Across the eight partner sites we have continually found learning strategies that demonstrate how all programs have found ways to teach students to think creatively and critically and how to move an entrepreneurial idea from concept to pilot to launch.  In this blog, I want to introduce another strategy used by the Social Innovation Lab (Pakistan) called “human centered design.”

Early on, the Social Innovation Lab wanted to situate its work within human centered design.  Part of the history they tell about the formation of SIL includes coming to understand the importance of human centered design in the education and training for social entrepreneurship.  While many participants have projects and issues they want to address when they apply to the lab, these initial thoughts become only the starting point.  During SIL incubation, participants complete a human centered design process: moving from Inspiration to Ideation to Implementation. 

These three phases of human centered design map easily onto other educational and training strategies which aim to move students out of the classroom and into the community.  During the Inspiration phase, the tools SIL has developed and the conversations they facilitate all work to move participants from thinking about their ideas in isolation to discussing and testing out their ideas with the people who they think will benefit from their enterprise.  In this phase, many initial ideas don’t survive as participants learn more about the issue, the people affected by the issue, and possible entrepreneurial projects that might better address the issue as now understood.  They take all of this data into the next phase, Ideation.  During this phase, SIL has developed tools and strategies to support making sense of what they have learned and using this new knowledge to create a prototype enterprise.  When they have enough understanding of what they do, and often before participants have it fully formed, they move to the next phase, Implementation.  At this point, participants continue to receive support (mentoring and at times start-up funding) to “pilot” their enterprise and see if it is a viable idea prior to seeking more financial support and investment.  If their enterprise shows promise, SIL continues to support the development of the entrepreneur and the enterprise.  At the rare times when the enterprise does not meet expectations, SIL continues to support the entrepreneur to take what they have learned to revise their prototype and try again.

Over the course of three site visits, the potential of human centered design for entrepreneurial education and training has been made clear.  This process teaches and supports participants to think creatively and critically about their ideas, talk with potential beneficiaries or customers, and design their enterprise around what they are learning, rather than only what they believe.  In the process, participants develop skills in communication, planning, and research and become more courageous and hopeful -- essential capacities every emerging and long-standing entrepreneur needs.  What other strategies have been found to be effective in teaching students creative and critical thinking? 

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While in recent years more women are becoming active in entrepreneurship, there remains a significant disparity between men and women entrepreneurs.  “Recent data suggests that the largest gaps occur in middle income nations, men are 75% more likely than women to be active entrepreneurs, compared with 33% in high income and 44% in low income nations.”[1]  The reasons for this are diverse but unquestioned is that women face unique barriers to becoming entrepreneurs.

Specific cultural characteristics, familial expectations, and social role expectations all pose obstacles to young women from learning about entrepreneurship and becoming entrepreneurs.  Young women are often not encouraged to become entrepreneurs, and experience discrimination and stereotypes when they are entrepreneurial.  Research has found that the low levels of enrollment in entrepreneurial coursework and opportunities is not related to genetics, interest, or motivation.  Young women aspire to become entrepreneurs.  The question is can anything be done about it?

Over the last three years, paNhari in Zimbabwe has seen female enrollment in their entrepreneurship education program increase from 20% of participants to nearly 50% of participants, during a period of time when overall enrollment has steadily increased overall.  What did they do that supported this dramatic increase?

First, they changed staffing patterns in their own organization, employing more young women as campus coordinators, peer mentors, and recruiters.  Then they took a hard look at their curriculum and in partnership with the facilitators revised the curriculum to be more inclusive.  They broadened the examples of enterprises to include innovations in human services, service industry, medicine, and community development.  They also invited more women entrepreneurs to speak to their participants, illustrating that women can be entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe.  Finally, they partnered with other organizations that want to support young women to be entrepreneurial.  Together these efforts appear to have made a significant difference.  What other strategies have programs and staff used to attract, retain, and graduate more young women from entrepreneur education programs?

[1] Wilson, F., Kickul, J., & Marlino, D. (2007).  Gender, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, and entrepreneurial career intention: Implications for entrepreneurial education. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 31(3), 387-406.

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Most entrepreneurial training and education in Higher Education remains in the business schools.  Does this mean that business is the only adequate preparation for entrepreneurship?  My recent visit to the Social Innovation Lab, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan suggests entrepreneurs can come out of many disciplines, including Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities.  With support from the Social Innovation Lab, students from these disciplines have developed, piloted and are currently building multiple enterprises.  These enterprises aim to solve many social issues while also earning revenue to sustain these efforts in the future.

These enterprises address many social needs in Pakistan including issues related to education, health, and culture.  Project 50 kids provides computer literacy workshops for students in public schools, introducing computer basics as well as computer design.  The project also includes a revenue stream:  Participants are invited to create designs that are turned into notebook covers and sold to the public.  In another project, students are working to establish an independent publishing house in Pakistan, Chai Chalk.  Chai Chalk began from the observation that Pakistan does not support an English language publishing house which makes it difficult for English fiction writers in Pakistan to get published.  Finally, another group of students have developed a series of workshops to build a culture of peace and global understanding among Pakistani secondary students.  Ravvish has been providing workshops to schools across Pakistan for over a year, and initial evaluation of their work has shown promising outcomes with participants.  What all of these examples, and many more that are not discussed, illustrate is how entrepreneurship can support students from multiple backgrounds to begin to notice, name, and develop a response to an issue they want to address.  Through entrepreneurial education and support, their responses are sustainable.  The goal is for the projects to earn enough revenue to support the activities and expand the enterprise.

What stories from the other seven locations confirm is that entrepreneurship can be used to address a wide-range of issues and support the development of sustainable responses to social problems.  Entrepreneurship incubation, training, and education can support students from diverse disciplines to develop creative solutions to society’s pressing issues.  It is clear from the first two years of YEPI that entrepreneurship is not discipline specific.  While located most often in business schools, it is a process that supports innovation across disciplines and fields.  When students are provided with high quality training and a diverse range of support, including mentoring, enterprises can spring from almost any discipline.

The next challenge for higher education is to develop multiple pathways for students from a wide variety of disciplines who are interested in entrepreneurship to have access to coursework, incubation centers, and resources, allowing them to take good ideas and turn them into sustainable enterprises.  What can you do to support these pathways?

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It is not often that entrepreneur education and publicly engaged projects overlap.  Much of the emphasis in entrepreneur education is on either enterprise education (teaching business knowledge, skills, and dispositions) or entrepreneur development (self-awareness and soft skill development).  Models of entrepreneurial education often describe innovative classroom-based teaching strategies (case studies, etc.) and internships in a business setting.  In Zimbabwe they have created an additional way to teach valuable business skills and support student entrepreneurial development: community development projects.

As describe here, community development projects are a form of service-learning.  In Zimbabwe, paNhari has been using community development projects to teach basic and intermediate business skills and support entrepreneur development.  Students need to propose a community development project at the end of the soft-skills training paNhari provides, entitled Passport-to-Success.  In small groups, students decide the issue they will respond to.  The challenge is for them to create a sustainable response to the issue.  They have a relatively short time frame to develop a project that will address a community issue in a sustainable way.  These projects are presented on the last day of the training.  One of the projects, judged by external reviewers as the most promising, is provided with a small grant to support the initial implementation.  Everyone in the workshop is invited to help with the winning project. 

During my first visit, the winning project worked with an orphanage in a neighboring community and available at a local orphanage and created a mushroom and organic vegetable garden.  These gardens increased the food available at the orphanage.  By the time of my first visit, they had completed the construction of both and the orphanage had already begun harvesting the produce.  The project had an added advantage because the production was greater than required at the orphanage.  With the addition production, several older young people at the orphanage were hired to manage the farm and sell the over production at local farmer markets.  The profits they earned were used to also fund school fees for almost 20 young people living in the orphanage. 

With the success of the first two projects, the student researched, designed and began to build a fish pond so that orphanage could have an additional source of protein for the students and increased profit from the sale of extra fish to the local community.  While this project has not been completed due to lack of funds, students did spend a week at the site digging the foundation for the fish pond.

Talking with students involved, the impact these projects have on both enterprise skill development and entrepreneur development is clear.  Students develop a real world understanding of business skills as they have to often develop a business model for the project to ensure the project not only responds to the issue but also has the ability to be sustaining after the initial investment.  Students also describe the benefit on their own self-identity as a creative community problem solver.  They describe their involvement as teaching them that they have the skills and knowledge to make a difference in their communities.  They no longer describe themselves as only students.  They also talk about being entrepreneurs! 

Students and staff in Zimbabwe ask, what other community-engaged methods have been used to support both learning about business skills and supporting self-awareness and entrepreneur development?

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The paNhari Community of Practice

"I think of paNhari as us, the students,” one paNhari participant told me. Indeed, participants describe the organization as a movement on campus, one promoting their self-betterment and economic opportunities. Programmatically, these goals are achieved through a set of workshops covering topics in leadership, personal effectiveness, entrepreneurship, and soft skills. These workshops are hosted by facilitators, individuals who are leaders in industry and simultaneously committed to student development. The paNhari staff work closely with facilitators, host universities, and students to ensure a consistently transformative experience.  So what did this student mean, when they said that paNhari is “us, the students”?

Students see themselves as part of the broader movement - including the shared culture of paNhari that is encouraging, optimistic, and constructively critical. Participating in small peer groups that converge around particular workshops, topics, or events encourages a sense of belonging to something bigger than just an entrepreneurial program. These groups are often formed by Campus Coordinators — students who have been through paNhari programs and are employed by the organization to facilitate communication between staff, facilitators, and students — using WhatsApp, a broadly accessible social messaging service.

During discussions with participants, they talked repeatedly about using WhatsApp as a way to communicate between each other and within a virtual group.  During our conversations with them, they talked about and their peers as significant sources of knowledge, wisdom, expertise, and motivation. They differentiate their peers in the paNhari program from their friends and family who have not participated. Those who have not participated in paNhari, they say, often do not understand their "new selves," even when they recognize that they have changed for the better. They are less interested in spending time with these friends when they do not encourage their growth with a positive attitude and constructive criticism.

The new selves differ from the old in significant ways.  They talk about have more self-confidence, ability to speak to others, even if they are introverted, and having a sense of hope.  These dispositions and attitudes are reinforced through continual connections with their paNhari friends and are solidified through class conversations, shared projects, and social media groups.  These new selves are also supported through conversations with paNhari staff and facilitators that occur both within and outside of the workshops, and continue long after the workshop has ended.  They describe these new networks as creating a virtuous cycle in their lives.

The inspiration, hope, and new skills they gain from the courses are reinforced and supported by a peer group that had similar experiences. This peer group continues to provide the challenge and support necessary to translate skills and attitudes acquired in class to other contexts. These are translation, accountability, and inspiration groups. They use social media to share new knowledge, even inspiring quotes, to keep each other going. They validate the experiences they have had and changes they are trying to make, even when the rest of the world seems pessimistic and cynical.

To paNhari participants, these small group interactions form an essential web that keeps them coming to classes, but more importantly, continues to support and fuel their personal growth. This web is named a Community of Practice by Lave and Wenger. A Community of Practice consists of three interrelated characteristics: mutual engagement, joint enterprise, and shared repertoire. The members of the paNhari movement establish norms and collaborative relationships that embody positivity, belief in personal change, and a willingness to give and receive constructive criticism. They create a sense of joint enterprise by taking topics from paNhari classes and extending them to other areas of their lives, school, and work. Finally, through the course curricula and social media sharing, they create a shared repertoire of topics that extend and grow their learning.

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Ahfad University for Women in Sudan, in celebration of its Golden Jubilee has established the Yousif Badri Civic Engagement International Prize to pay tribute to the founding father Yousif Badri and his remarkable and life-long service to women’s education and civic engagement.

YbCEIP recognizes and celebrates extraordinary University programs with ongoing community engagement and provision of service. It is established to encourage and aid their efforts through awarding a financial gift. YbCEIP has a three-tier monetary prize offering: the first prize is $5,000, the second is $3,000 and the third is $2,000.

Selection Criteria:
- Active Engagement for Vulnerable Communities
- Promotion of Sustainable Initiatives for Social Change
- Student Leadership and University Involvement

Deadline for applications: September 1st 2016.

We look forward to your applications and/or kindly circulate the message to interested Universities.

For more information and application form, please click this link:


Feel free to contact if you have any further questions.

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The University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa (UETLA) program, an ongoing Talloires Network effort to recognize and support engaged faculty, continues to flourish with fruitful exchanges. In addition to quarterly conference calls and monthly online reflections, there have been several in-person meetings to enhance the learning and connection. On May 20th, Associate Professor Sunitha Srinivas of Rhodes University, one of ten UETLA grantees, visited the Talloires Network’s office and delivered a presentation on “Health Empowerment: By and With the Community.

Her stories were impressive and inspiring to the audience at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. We learned about her personal career path from an industry-focused pharmacist to a community-engaged health advocate. As she recalls her lifelong journey of learning, it has been a “humble beginning and progressive realization” throughout 23 years of experiences. To her, challenges such as working without a mentor or working as the only female in the group are valuable. Coming from Bangalore (India) with considerable experiences with the first Medicines Information Centre in the country and then India World Health Organization Essential Medicines Program, she relocated to Grahamstown (South Africa) to work at Rhodes University.

We also learned about Rhodes University, an institution that nurtured Sunitha’s passion for serving the majority of population who depends on public sector to access healthcare. Participating in the Community Experiential Program at the Faculty of Pharmacy, she started to question the prevalent model of “Disease-Drug-Dispense” and wanted to concentrate on health, not only disease. Rhodes’ three pillars that guide academics helped her to realize the need of integrating three elements in her work: teaching, research, and community engagement.

Through her vivid presentation, Sunitha shared about the community engagement projects and programs she has initiated for her students. A notable example is her students’ participation in National Science Festivals six times in ten years. These events included exhibits, board games, and computer quizzes. The initial effort brought Sunitha a Vice Chancellor’s Inaugural Distinguished Award in 2008, which strengthened her determination to do community engaged work. Other examples are health promotion for non-communicable diseases in National Science Week 2010, an eight-week workshop with traditional health practitioners, community outreach on World Heart Day and World Diabetes Day 2011, and various research projects by third-year students of Rhodes University Pharmacy Students Association from 2004 to 2014.

In the follow-up session, Sunitha and the audience had a lively discussion on both opportunities and challenges of community engagement. We all are impressed by her wisdom in the field and her devotion to those who need healthcare most.

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Introducing the Entrepreneur Space

The Talloires Network is happy to launch the Entrepreneur Space! Through a survey and conversations, YEPI partners have expressed that TN Connects could be used to highlight the work of entrepreneurs, and enabling entrepreneurs is one of the most exciting parts of the YEPI program

TN Connects will provide a space for entrepreneurs (supported by YEPI) to highlight and share their work. This space will help entrepreneurs reach a wider audience, enable conversation and knowledge-sharing across programs, and generate more interest in specific entrepreneurial projects.

We encourage entrepreneurs to post descriptions of their projects, tell us why they became entrepreneurs, the challenges they face and how they have overcome them. Entrepreneurs can post text, videos and photos, and pitch documents. They can also contact one another to join a global network.

Head over to the entrepreneur space:, to read entrepreneur stories from the entrepreneurs themselves. 

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