Doing Business in Africa

Doing Business in Africa: The Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem of Ghana (3 Credits)


Program Dates January 4, 2014 – January 12, 2014.  First paid hotel night in Accra is Saturday, January 4th.  Last scheduled course activity is Sunday, January 12th.
Destinations Accra and Kumasi, Ghana
Program Lead Bryan Stroube.  Offered in coordination with the Center for Social Value Creation.


This course will provide an immersive exploration of social entrepreneurship and business in Ghana, from small microenterprises to large corporations. It will investigate how connections between actors in different spheres of society can both promote and hinder economic and social value creation. Along the way, students will develop tools for observing and analyzing economic behavior in unfamiliar markets.

Ghana has evolved into a solid economy with a fertile environment for social entrepreneurs. Accra and the surrounding areas are booming with entrepreneurial life. The course will explore the role and impact of social entrepreneurship in shaping development and investment in both urban and rural settings. Students will spend time in Accra, Kumasi, and a village in the Ashanti region. Students will shadow micro-entrepreneurs for a few days and live in home stays (two students per home stay). After gaining a better sense of the culture, challenges, and opportunities surrounding their Ghanaian colleagues, everyone will participate in a joint workshop. Students will then travel back to Accra to round out business visits and build an understanding of the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. A factory visit is possible. From CSR activities in large corporations to localized initiatives geared toward local economic growth, the course will cover multiple facets of social value creation in business across this great and unique country.

Through a programmatic partnership with the Robert H. Smith Center for Social Value Creation and ThinkImpact, participants will be able to explore the country of Ghana and the field of social entrepreneurship through a lens of empathy, opportunity, and action. Through ThinkImpact’s in-country partnerships, participants will build relationships with Ghanaians, from micro-entrepreneurs to CEOs, and deepen their understanding of culture and markets in economic development.

GhanaThe course will help students to:

  • Develop a generalized framework for thinking about when, where, and why entrepreneurship occurs
  • Develop practical tools and skills for the observation and analysis of unfamiliar economic behavior and market structures
  • Understand contemporary debates in economic development (e.g., the involvement of China in Africa)
  • Understand the basics of impact evaluations, and what is required to establish “proof” that a program, policy, or strategy works on the ground

What else do you need to know?

EXACT PROGRAM DATES will be determined (if not already set) after the course is confirmed by the Office of Global Initiatives. Once accepted, students are advised, but not required, to purchase refundable airplane tickets to counter any inconvenience caused by a change in unforeseen circumstances. Oftentimes, students have made their travel arrangements through STA Travel, a discount student travel agency.

THE COURSE PROGRAM FEE includes UMD tuition for 3 credits; lodging in a shared hotel room; on-site support and orientation; costs for any mandatory academic and cultural excursions and/or activities; some group meals; professor and partner fees; UM Education Abroad services; International health insurance, including medical evacuation and repatriation of remains coverage.

Not included: personal expenses, most meals, optional trip insurance and international airfare. Students are responsible for obtaining and paying for their own visa and/or entry fee where applicable.

PAYMENT OF THE PUBLISHED PROGRAM FEE is divided into three separate charges that are collected accordingly:

(1) A non-refundable $50 application fee payable online by credit card is due at the time of application.

(2) Upon acceptance into the program, a $250 non-refundable deposit payable online by credit card is due within 10 days or less. The exact due date of this deposit will be communicated when student is accepted. Applicants understand that when he/she pays this deposit after being accepted into the program, it is deemed to be a commitment of participation. This deposit is non-refundable under any circumstances.

(3) The remaining balance will be due upon Education Abroad's registration of student into the program. This amount will appear on the student's account and will be payable before the end of the next billing cycle. See UMD's Education Abroad's website for other Refund and Withdrawal rules.

Any scholarship monies awarded by Smith will be credited to the student's account once the charge appears on his/her account. All efforts will be made to have the scholarship monies credited prior to payment due date.