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International MBA students from IE Business School, in Madrid, will spend the summer mentoring 22 African women as part of a scheme to promote entrepreneurship on the continent.
The women, from Liberia, South Africa, Mozambique, Senegal, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were selected earlier this year to take part in the scheme which is supported by FAS (Femmes Africa Solidarite) and the Spanish Government as well as the Centre for Global Diversity in Management and the Department of Entrepreneurial Management at IE Business School.
This week the women will receive management training on the IE campus in Spain and then over the summer the selected MBA students will visit them for two to four weeks in their respective countries to assist them personally with their businesses and help them develop a business plan. Once the students have returned to Spain they will continue the consulting process by email.
As well as receiving advice from the MBA students, the 22 women will each be matched to a female mentor in their own country, who will provide advice and support.
The exercise provides much more than just a learning opportunity for students, says Javier Amazega, director of development for Middle East and Africa, “We hope that by aiding these entrepreneurs in capitalising on these business opportunities, we can start to promote the sustainable economic development that will carry Africa through the transition into an emerging market.”