Virtual Business Challenge: “Make delicious lemonades of all life’s lemons”

The first edition of the Virtual Business Challenge was organised last week. 48 New Business Challenge Alumni from the years 2014 – 2019 were online connected to solve two business cases in the context of Covid-19. The business cases came from entrepreneurs who are part of the Orange Corners Ghana accelerator program. Vonvic and Health Direct Global were both determined to solve challenges during Covid-19, focusing on producing face masks and promoting pro-active, remote healthcare digitally. Tracy Abbey Mensah (Alumni 2019 – in picture) shares her experience of this unforgettable day with us. She was part of the winning team for the Vonvic business case on Friday.

“Covid-19 disrupted yet another constant in our lives, the New Business Challenge (NBC) would not be organised this year. This prompted the initiative of the Virtual Business Challenge. The Challenge is an innovative spin-off by the organisers of the NBC, as an answer to the challenges that Covid-19 caused.

It was a great way to relive the NBC experience. I never envisaged that an International Cultural exchange program could be run and controlled from two continents simultaneously. Technology has indeed revolutionised our lives. Irrespective of the difficulty in trying to adapt to this ‘New Normal’, technology has made connectivity easier and almost seamless.

The idea of the Virtual Business Challenge to me was fascinating and yes, I was a bit sceptical as to how it would have been easily controlled. However, the Challenge exceeded my expectations. The intense day’s work was characterised by Ghanaian and Dutch NBC Alumni contributing their brain power and problem solving skills to business opportunities of real-life entrepreneurs in a Covid-19 context. I was intrigued at the level of enthusiasm, connection and cooperation of these young talents, some of whom had never met before.

The NBC has consistently promised to be competitive yet fun. After exchanging pleasantries and jamming to Cees’ (Sustainable Motion) famous ‘Get Lucky’ we had to delve right in to an intense day’s work. Six mixed teams cooperated online from various geographical areas with different time zones in different zoom breakout rooms, with our skilled coaches available to guide us all the way and our coordinators working from the control room and ensuring the program stuck to plan. I will be ever grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to real-life business challenges and I can’t wait to see the entrepreneurs put these ideas to use.

I am excited for the future of the NBC. Kudos to the organisers for your hard work in challenging and inspiring me to be persistent, innovative and make delicious lemonades of all life’s lemons when I’m hit by them.”

The NBC doesn’t stop after the Virtual Business Challenge! The program will continue after the online day(s) with workshops organised by the New Career Platform. Various workshops around the themes of the job market and entrepreneurship will be organised throughout the rest of the year. Keep an eye on the New Career Platform’s events to stay up to date about the next workshop. Also after 3 months, a coming-back day for the Virtual Business Challenge will be organised to see what the process has been like while working on the solutions.