For our first site visit in Ghana, Alexis and I had the opportunity to meet with the charismatic and inspiring leader of the organization called Ghanaian High-Tech Women. As one of the leading scholars in Ghana, Ama had had the opportunity to study social entrepreneurship for a month in the United States with a scholarship provided by the Case Foundation. Inspired by her experience, Ama returned to Ghana to launch a social entrepreneurship program for women. When we sat down with Ama she explained to us a typical story of one of her students.
As a college student Ese studied tourism and has had experience working in the industry. She enrolled with Ama’s entrepreneurship program as a way to gain the business skills to compliment her knowledge of the tourist industry with hopes of starting an eco-tourism business in Ghana. Ama’s workshops have been instrumental in incubating the idea. Ese has utilized the organization’s knowledge, resources, and connections to form the foundations to her nascent organization. Ghanaian High-Tech Women not only provides the women the skills to execute their business ideas, but also the inspiration to take Ghanaian development into their own hands.
The funds raised by GlobalGiving for Ama’s project helped provide four computers, three training workshops, and a workspace for the students. Ama’s young entrepreneurs utilize these resources as they develop their programs. Such provision is necessary before her student projects achieve sustainability. Projects pursued by Ama’s students range from Cancer Research to Financial Literacy and Electronic Waste Management.
In addition to the direct effect through funds, Global Giving has provided global exposure and exciting new local and international networks. For instance, in the fall, Ghanaian High-Tech Women will be receiving a Harvard volunteer for three months and soon after, meeting with the University of Michigan to develop a microloan program to fund Ama’s young entrepreneurs. Both of these events were made possible by the organization’s placement on Global Giving, which guided the volunteer and University to her project. Finally, Ama has also utilized the site as a way of connecting with other local NGOs and participating in collaborative workshops.
To learn more about High-Tech Ghanaian Women and this project visit www.globalgiving.org/4453.
Andrew and four other In-the-Field Travelers are currently in Ghana before they are making their way to Mali and Burkina Faso. They'll be visiting more than 30 GlobalGiving projects in the next month. Follow their adventures at http://itfwa.wordpress.com/.