A first for ABCD…the hosting of a student business conference at the YMCA in Moshi in early February. 47 students were in attendance from 8 secondary schools and vocational training centers.
The 2 1/2 day conference program was planned in cooperation and participation with students from Deakin University’s Study Abroad Program in Melbourne, Australia. Programs offered ranged from job interviewing and resume writing tips to creating a business plan and loan request for self-employment.
A panel of local business and professional leaders spoke on their areas of focus and students were stimulated to ask more questions than we anticipated. The students worked in groups to plan a simulated business and to present their plans and request for a start-up loan to a panel of ‘bankers’. All loan requests were approved by the panel accompanied by thoughtful qualifying recommendations.
Throughout the very intense program many energy boosting activities had the students rolling in laughter. The use of a swimming pool was a first time experience and a delight for many students. At the end of the conference the local teachers agreed to challenge their students to work together and plan a small business at school to reinforce the principles learned at the conference.
It is hoped that next year ABCD volunteers will visit their schools and learn about the students new business ventures.
Many thanks to the Deakin University students, ABCD Australia’s Ken Wall and Ken Sharpe and Canadian volunteer Ken Clarke for their contribution to the overwhelming success of the conference.