Ashesi University College

Gillian and I had the pleasure of visiting Ashesi University College last Tuesday, the 24th. Ashesi University is an institution built to bring an entrepreneurial focus to African students. There, we had a great conversation with university professors about their hands-on curriculum and how to further influence future entrepreneurs. We also discussed how our own educations and experiences that encouraged us to create a social venture. 

The institution has been around since 2001, but it's beautiful new campus (modeled after Swathmore College) was place in a rural area of Greater Accra. 

The institution has been around since 2001, but it's beautiful new campus (modeled after Swathmore College) was place in a rural area of Greater Accra. 

We were really impressed with the Ashesi approach and the diversity of thinking that they bring their students. Its faculty has a mix of Ghanaian, other African and American PhD’s (and those were only the few that we met) who want to re-invigorate how African college students learn about entrepreneurship. Though most of the students are Ghanaian, they offer huge support for international African students. The curriculum emphasizes how to use business to fix tangible issues throughout Ghana, from water sanitation to poverty alleviation.  Their view on social entrepreneurship is in line with our own and we hope to recruit a recent graduate to help with some market studies in the near future.

Currently, they have three major areas of study, business, informatics and computer science, but also give the students a broad liberal arts education with history, economics, math, and language study in the first two years. They are also in the midst of building an engineering school in the Fall of 2015. The engineering school will be fully equipped with a small Maker Space (a 3D printer and some lathe equipment) to encourage the creation of innovative products. 

From left to right, Gill Henker (Sisu Global Health), Dr. Stephen Armah (professor of Economics), Isaac (Dr. Armah's TA), Katie Kirsch (Sisu Global Health) and Jude (student of entrepreneurship)

From left to right, Gill Henker (Sisu Global Health), Dr. Stephen Armah (professor of Economics), Isaac (Dr. Armah's TA), Katie Kirsch (Sisu Global Health) and Jude (student of entrepreneurship)

The mission of Ashesi University College is to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within our students critical thinking skills, the concern for others and the courage it will take to transform a continent
— Ashesi University College's Mission