We are delighted to share the testimonial of Albert Adehokey, a participant of the New Business Challenge (NBC) Summer school. Albert is a Project Assistant at Tropenbos Ghana, he is currently pursuing postgraduate studies in Natural Resource and Environmental Governance (MPhil) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.

I’ve always embraced circumstances where I can use my creativity and experience to contribute to solving challenges, and the NBC summer school provided that opportunity. The Summer School program gives a culturally diversified platform for young people to put their abilities to test, including reasoning, problem-solving, idea generation, and many others, and it’s incredible how well the program turned out even in the midst of a pandemic.

The opportunity to work with like-minded young professionals from different cultural backgrounds, coupled with the brilliance of the NBC coaches, is unforgettable. Participants were very well matched in teams and this made it easy for teams to establish common grounds and collaborate on ideas to solve the business cases we were challenged with. Furthermore, for someone who is full of ideas and who holds on to them tightly, I was sceptical on how I well I was going to deal in a team, however, the Summer School was designed to respect all ideas. We were also urged to use a smart solution typology chart to expand on the ideas of our teammates, this made me feel relevant and I commend the coordinators and coaches for initiating such smooth procedures that enabled me overcome my fear and thrive within the team. I have learnt to offer others equal opportunities and space to do their best in decision-making and solution-building when working in a team.

What fascinated me most was our visit to Blue Skies’ Factory in Ghana, producers of fresh from harvest quality prepared fruit, freshly squeezed juice and ice cream, and Billy Farms, a pineapple farm at Nsawam. The inspiration, story and circumstances leading to the establishment of Blue Skies gives me hope as a young entrepreneur, to make lemonades out of lemons. I also cherish the time spent at the Ghana Innovation Hub, where I learned about opportunities accessible to young entrepreneurs and worked to find green solutions for Orange Corners entrepreneurs.

For young professionals who yearn to learn in a culturally diverse environment, acquire new knowledge and explore paths of creativity and innovation, the NBC Summer school offers more.

I express my profound gratitude to the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council (GNBCC), The Netherlands Embassy in Ghana, Sustainable motion, Circumspecte, Crosswise Works, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rvo) and the Legon Botanical Gardens, for their role in giving me and my colleagues this amazing opportunity.