“The Autumn School exceeded my expectations,” says Liz Melissa Capcha Eulogio from Germany. This year, the Autumn School for Sustainable Entrepreneurship took place from 1st to 5th November 2019 in Accra, Ghana, and focused on ‘E-waste and the circular economy’. The participants are upcoming young social entrepreneurs from Germany and African countries who networked with each other and exchanged ideas with experts from business, science and politics in less than a week.
Speaker Vanessa Forti from the United Nations University E-Waste Academy challenged the participants of the Autumn School, “Each of you can be active in areas that are either advancing legislation on e-waste in your countries or using it to develop private services in this area.” Barriatoulah Achimi from the African Circular Economy Network explains, “In Africa, we have the advantage that our societies have been traditionally operating with a circular economy model, so this is already embedded in our culture. And the fact that we are second movers regarding economic development should help us learn from others' mistakes and implement high sustainability and circular economy standards right from the start.”
In addition to workshops on fundraising, business plan development, e-waste value chain creation and online marketing, the Autumn School offered many opportunities for exchange. A special highlight of the Autumn School was the Open Marketplace, where young entrepreneurs could present themselves. “This was an awesome experience from which I will really benefit - I began to think much more broadly, maybe I want to cooperate with that one guy from Zimbabwe. The Autumn School was a significant investment in me. I want to give back in every possible way,” explains Idris Abdulrahim from Nigeria for the organisation FATRA.
This year’s Autumn School was organised by Engagement Global together with the Impact Hub Accra, the city of Accra and numerous economic and civil society institutions mainly from Ghana and Germany.