Blog

Building a Positive Circle of Impact, Concordia University

February 2020

In 2019 Asante Africa was selected as the partner non-profit of the International Community Outreach Program (ICOP) business school case competition at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. 12 teams, a total of over 50 Master of Business Administration (MBA) students, competed to produce the best solutions on how to best manage our Leadership & Entrepreneurship (LEI) Program’s alumni network. The teams had 8 hours in the competition to develop solutions and at the end of the day, they presented their findings to a panel. Through the ICOP, Asante Africa formed a new partnership and gained access to the teams’ recommendations to improve our LEI Program.

A core component of our LEI Program is the “Pay it Forward” initiative, where graduates continue investing in the community through volunteering and mentoring with youth. Our outreach to youth relies on alumni engagement and strengthening our alumni operations is essential if we are going to impact as many youth as possible. The recommendations will help us stay in touch with graduates, expand our outreach methods, and grow as an organization. 

Some of the key recommendations include:

  • Creating a database of all LEI participants and ensuring a staff is responsible for managing the database, and communicating and networking with alumni
  • Establishing an Alumni Committee comprised of LEI Summit participants responsible for supporting alumni engagement while simultaneously providing volunteer experience
  • Proposing corporate “give back” programs with local phone companies to provide cell phones and/or airtime credit or discounts for LEI Program participants
  • Creating a Buddy System within the LEI Summit participants to support each other and stay connected
  • Creating an Engagement Team at schools comprised of a teacher and two students where the LEI Program can operate and communicate with current and past program participants

Our teams have taken the first steps in implementing the recommendations by working on the alumni database and contacting graduates for their current contact information. Plans to implement many other recommendations are underway as team leads review the most relevant ones that can be incorporated into their LEI Program.

“Our team is planning to increase Asante staff who will act as Permanent Regional Coordinators to the Regions where we have operating clubs and LEI alumni. They will be able to follow up and track all LEI alumni. The Monitoring and Evaluation team has also created an online tool to collect Pay it Forward data and gather information about what alumni are doing at the personal level with the leadership, entrepreneurship, and job readiness skills that they have gained.” – Gloria Mushi, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator in Tanzania.

 The feedback that Asante Africa received from the MBA students can greatly build our alumni network. For that, we are grateful for the collaboration and the hard work the students have put in for our organization.

 “The ultimate goal of our programs is to combat the unequal opportunities provided to students and youth in remote areas by offering tools for them to create their own path forward, to grow in successful careers, and give back to their communities, which would then create an ongoing positive cycle.” – Tania J. Keefe, Global Director of Finance and Administration

 

Written by Genevieve Chan