What was the nature of your project?

We were working out of Impact Hub Accra on projects to benefit their new Health Innovation Program. We decided to focus our project work on Crowdfrica, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to providing quality health insurance to Africans. Crowdfrica was one of the winners of the Health Innovation Program inaugural health startup hackathon, and determined that helping Crowdfrica on the path towards success would, in turn, benefit the Health Innovation Program’s standing in Accra’s healthcare/social enterprise ecosystem. Currently, we’re working with Crowdfrica on short- and long-term strategy, marketing, and financial initiatives to help set them up for future success.

What were some of your key learnings, both in the class and during the trip? 
Don’t assume anything. Everyone operates differently and everyone communicates differently, and it’s important to recognize cultural nuances when working with an international client. We also learned to be flexible, because plans change!

What were some unexpected challenges and how did you overcome them?
The whole course of our project changed about a week before we were scheduled to arrive to Ghana. This forced us to quickly rethink our goals for the duration of the project, and to embrace the fact that, going forward, there was about to be a lot more uncertainty. These challenges enabled our team to come together in the face of ambiguity, and to think on our feet and design a project about which we were passionate.

What is some advice you would give to someone hoping to delve into the field of social entrepreneurship at an international level?
Do your research and build a network! We were able to use a lot of our in-country time to really explore the social entrepreneurship landscape in Accra, and to meet some of its key players. These conversations and meetings have proven to be valuable throughout the rest of our project work, as we have a better understanding of constraints as well as a better understanding of who to invite to the table.