Go To Market in Africa Challenge

What is the Go To Market in Africa Challenge?
As Africa enters a phase of economic emergence, now is the time to leverage its best exported resource – human capital. Many African expatriates are well educated and have a desire to return to Africa. A great many of them have opinions and ideas on how to leverage business solutions to address the vast needs facing Africa. Most, however, do not have the support necessary to move forward with these ideas. Every year these educated Africans come together through various events and venues to discuss the continent’s needs, and every year many leave without identifying concrete ways they can begin to seriously and practically address these needs. The Go To Market in Africa Challenge is the Darden African Business Organization’s answer to this current state of inaction.

The Go To Market in Africa Challenge (The Challenge) is organized by the Darden African Business Organization (DABO) in conjunction with M&A Research and Investment (M&A Consulting), a consulting firm. It provides budding African entrepreneurs the opportunity to spend a year working alongside other African entrepreneurs and business experts to conceptualize and bring to market a for-profit product/service that addresses a specific need in Africa.

How It Works
Every year, during DABO’s Africa Business Conference, a group of aspiring entrepreneurs who have applied for the Challenge will be selected and announced to work with each other. Under the facilitation of M&A Consulting and Darden Professors this group will generate a concept, create a business plan, and take the concept to market—all within a year. At the next DABO Conference, the team will report their progress and discuss possible future plans to attendees, stakeholders, and a group of potential investors. This will offer a live case for the attendees to discuss, so as provide a deeper understanding of the African marketplace.

Participants will learn about African venture formation and explore their entrepreneurial dreams in a supportive environment. Throughout the year, participants will commit to meeting at least twice a month to attend workshops, team building activities, and mentorship programs to learn from experienced other entrepreneurs, African and otherwise. Each member will also be assigned an African Executive Business Mentor. Mentors consist of leading venture capitalists, industry experts, entrepreneurs, and angel investors.

Who Can Enter
While the challenge is interested in Africans working to come up with solutions to Africa’s problems, all who have demonstrated an interest in working towards Africa’s economic and social development are eligible and encouraged to apply. This includes current students, alumni, research and postdoctoral staff, and faculty.

This Challenge is open to all chosen applicants from all disciplines and is not limited to those with MBAs.

How To Apply
To enter the Challenge, please provide an executive summary of yourself, a description of your area of expertise/interest, and a business idea. Please email your submissions to africanmbas@gmail.com

The application should be no more than 2 pages long, and should be focused on the skills you will bring to the team if chosen.

Please observe the following guidelines when submitting your application:

  • 2 pages including appendices and exhibits

  • Recommended font type: 11-12 pt Times New Roman double spaced

  • Submit the document in Word or Adobe PDF formats

  • Application must be submitted electronically prior to the deadline – March 2, 2012