Africa Business Concept Challenge

GBSN is pleased to present the 4th annual Africa Business Concept Challenge (ABCC), a virtual business concept competition for African undergraduate and graduate students. The competition challenges student teams to develop a viable business concept that addresses a locally-relevant challenge or problem related to Agenda 2063, and inclusive and sustainable development.

The Africa Business Concept Challenge intends to assist young people from the African continent who have an entrepreneurial orientation, a desire to serve their community, and demonstrate the values outlined below. With a focus on promoting responsible business, the competition identifies high potential young people for mentorship and investment. 

Competition Values

  • A commitment to the importance of responsible entrepreneurship and its role in job creation
  • An international outlook
  • A commitment to ethical business practices
  • A strong interest in young people in emerging markets and the role that business can play in creating opportunities that enable them to develop
  • A belief that business is a public trust with the obligation to improve and serve society
  • A commitment to lifelong learning and continuing education

2023 ABCC Virtual Awards Ceremony – recorded on April 19th, 2023.


Building a Prosperous Africa.

Addressing local problems with innovative business solutions.


Why Participate?


Benefits of participating in the competition:

1. Societal Impact

The Challenge offers a chance to make an impact on local community problems.

2. Networking

Opportunities with student teams from across the globe, as well as experienced entrepreneurs and industry professionals

3. Mentoring & Industry Experts

High-caliber, experienced judges, who are experienced entrepreneurs and industry leaders

4. Structure, Feedback & Guidance

Personalized, individual feedback during the project development process from Team Advisors

Projects

Student Teams will engage in a three-phased project development process where their business concepts are evaluated and scored by a designated Investor Expert, delivering critical feedback to improve their business concepts. Projects will be accepted that properly identify and define a local challenge and a viable business concept that addresses the problem. For project inspiration, check out last year’s Top 5 Projects!

All projects must address:

A community challenge or need

A business solution

A viable business concept

Implementation and impact of business solution



Registration

  • The challenge will be virtual and take place during a 5-week period.
  • Teams must consist of two to five members, where at least two must be current students at an African institution at the time of the competition. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.
  • Each team must have a Captain who will handle communications with GBSN and register the team.
  • Each team must have a Faculty Mentor upon registering. Mentors will help guide teams and enrich the learning experience.

NOTE: Teams are required to have a general idea of a business concept ready to complete the application form. For more information, please see the FAQs tab.


Investor Expert Application

GBSN welcomes applications from individuals interested in serving in this key role. More information can be found on the Investor Expert, Mentors & Judges tab.

Drawing on their expertise and an investor point-of-view, Investor Experts provide critical feedback to students on early versions of their business concepts they intend to submit for the Challenge. Investor Experts can be anyone from entrepreneur practitioners, entrepreneurs-in-residence, to faculty, PhD students, researchers, and even non-African students.

Each Investor Expert can be expect to be assigned up to five Student Teams to review. Investor Experts receive a digital certificate for their role in the competition, and are highlighted throughout the process.

Sponsors

GBSN is grateful to the following organizations whose sponsorship funds the Challenge prizes, resources, tools, etc., ensuring a meaningful virtual learning experience for each cohort of Student Teams.

Show your support by sponsoring this year’s Challenge! Sponsorship will directly contribute to this year’s Challenge. Sponsorship is used to fund the Challenge prizes, tools, resources, etc. that enables GBSN to build and execute a meaningful virtual learning experience for each cohort of student teams.

University of Connecticut

It’s simple enough: The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a great university. It’s a rank topping global research institution, with modern campuses scattered across the state to support the energetic, global academic community of UConn Nation. Its talented students exceed expectations. The university’s experienced researchers, passionate faculty, and talented alumni work together with innovation and creativity for a better tomorrow. The university fuels the state’s economy and is committed to inclusion and benefiting the greater good. This is UConn. Students first, UConn always. Huskies forever.

The UConn School of Business

Established in 1941, the UConn School of Business has grown to become one of the most comprehensive business schools in the country. It provides access to a range of exciting academic programs at the bachelorsmastersdoctorate and advanced certificate levels. Students can study these across four Connecticut locations – Storrs, Hartford, Stamford and Waterbury. The School of Business has established a strong reputation for high quality research, teaching, collaboration and outreach, spanning a wide array of functional disciplines, including accounting, finance, management, marketing, and operations and information management.

Purpose Driven

The UConn School of Business provides world-class research and life-transformative education to inspire next-generation innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders, and business talent to propel its graduates’ influence in the world of business. Globally oriented, environmentally responsible, and community-minded, the school’s students and alumni are driven to create what is next in the world, to be innovative agents of change in business and society. A committed ecosystem of faculty, researchers, staff, donors, and alumni support and contribute to a world-class educational experience for UConn students that prepares them for life’s challenges and opportunities. 

Contact: Arminda Kamphausen at arminda.kamphausen@uconn.edu

Stanford Seed partners with entrepreneurs from across Africa and South Asia to help them build thriving enterprises that transform lives. Stanford Seed delivers world-class business training and resources to founders and CEOs, helping them increase revenues, create jobs, and positively impact people and the planet.

Contact: Darius Teter at dteter@stanford.edu

GBSN also thanks the following past Sponsors and Supporters for their support in early offerings in the Challenge.

Supporters

The Africa Business Concept Challenge is a multi-faceted academic opportunity, and GBSN welcomes organizations to provide their support in the form of in-kind contributions. This includes:

  • Non-monetary prizes, such as academic opportunities for students, mentorship, or online certifications
  • Platform support to host the competition
  • Marketing support to a broader network of students and potential Advisors

For more information, please email Daniella Hafner at dhafner@gbsn.org

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Questions?

Meet the Team

Email Daniella Hafner at dhafner@gbsn.org for questions or concerns.