Meet the Team: Accra, Winter, 2017

Welcome to our new cohort of Challenges Worldwide International Citizen Service volunteers, or more formally our new team of “Business Support Associates”.  Over the following 3 months, they will be learning Professional Consulting with Challenges Worldwide and using their new skill set to give support to SME’s across Accra, Ghana. Let’s take a few minutes to meet the team in Accra:

 

Meet the team: George

Name: George Nana Kwaku Odum Amanfo

From: Accra, Ghana

Before the placement: Before I started my journey with Challenges Worldwide I was in the process of finishing my national service. For my national service I was assigned to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority where I worked as a data processing clerk.

After the placement: Once I have completed my placement with Challenges Worldwide I would like to transfer the skills I have learnt into the workplace. I have no doubt the lessons I learn here will increase my employability and help secure employment.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Jana Gazova

Enterprise: Wineloya

Why did you join Challenges: In Challenges I saw not only a chance to impact a local business, but, also a great opportunity to develop myself as a person. During my time at Challenges Worldwide I hope to equip myself with a skillset that will prove invaluable in years to come.

Skills you would like to improve: The skills I would like to improve the most are predominantly professional in their nature. Due to the business nature of Challenges Worldwide I would like to further my marketing and consultancy skills. These have already begun to improve through a combination of theory and practical work.

 

Meet the team: Jana

Name: Jana Gazova

From: Slovakia/U.K.

Before the placement: I graduated from the University of Greenwich in July 2017 with a BA in Media and Communication.

After the placement: Post placement I shall be returning back to further education to pursue an MA in Strategic Marketing. In the long term I would like to be more involved in international development.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: George Nana Kwaku Odum Amanfo

Enterprise: Wineloya

Why did you join Challenges: To me Challenges Worldwide represented a transformational opportunity to understand the world around us and within myself better and do some good along the way. The best path to take is the one out of your comfort zone and my time on placement is pushing me to find out aspects of myself I didn’t know existed.

Skills you would like to improve: So far my aims are to stretch my ability to adapt, improvise and be more resourceful.

 

Meet the team: Benjamin

Name: Benjamin Stephenson

From: London, England

Before the placement: Prior to my placement with Challenges Worldwide I was completing a BA in Ancient History and Classical Archaeology from Warwick University.

After the placement: Upon completion of my placement in Accra I would like to work abroad, preferably in America or Canada.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Doris Naana Boaduwaa

Enterprise: Jenam

Why did you join Challenges: Upon completion of my degree I realised it had no relevance to the working world and I had few ideas as to what step to take next. I was drawn to Challenges Worldwide as it gave me an opportunity to develop some professional skills. In addition to this, the programme has enabled me to travel and experience cultures that otherwise would not be so easily accessible.

Skills you would like to improve: I would very much like to work on personal aspects such as confidence in public speaking and developing professional relationships. These skills have already begun to develop on the short time I have spent on the programme thus far.

 

Meet the team: Doris

Name: Doris Naana Boaduwaa

From: Accra, Ghana

Before placement: Formerly I was completing my national service. During this I served as personnel in the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

After placement: When my time with Challenges Worldwide comes to an end I would like to promote tourism in Ghana. I hope to do this by setting up a recreational facility.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Benjamin Stephenson

Enterprise: Jenam

Why did you join Challenges: In Challenges Worldwide I saw a chance to get hands on experience with entrepreneurs and develop business skills. These will be very useful to myself as I plan to foray into business in the future. Moreover, the cross cultural nature of Challenges Worldwide was also very appealing to myself and interacting with my counterpart (Ben) has been one of the best experiences of the programme so far.

Skills you would like to improve:  The two skills I would like to improve during my time with Challenges Worldwide are public speaking and business management. Working on this skill set will be very useful in achieving my future goals.

 

Meet the team: Barbara

Name: Barbara Nkrumah Arthur

From: Ghana

Before the placement: I was working as an Assessor with Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Regional Leadership Center Gimpa.

After the placement: Want to work with an investment or financial institutions which will help and prepare me achieve my career goal as a Financial Analyst

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Andrew Greenfield

Enterprise: AJ VANUSH

Why did you join Challenges: I joined Challenges because I want to have my business in future, to improve upon my entrepreneurial skills and help alleviate poverty in Africa as the vision of Challenges. Also, I joined the program for personal and professional growth and to expand my network for future development.

Skills you would like to improve: Presentation and communication skills

 

Meet the team: Andrew

Name: Andrew Greenfield

From: Hockley, Essex

Before the placement: Sales Executive

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Barbara Nkrumah Arthur

Enterprise: AJ Vanush

Why did you join Challenges: I joined Challenges because I want to do something that would help someone, in a deeper way then just donating to a charity and not being able to see what the money was spent on.

Skills you would like to improve: Skills-wise I think I’m improving on my business acumen, which I can keep developing.

 

Meet the team: Victor

Name:  Victor Seyram Ekissi

From: Ghana (Accra)

Before the placement: Working at a call centre

After the placement: Hoping to get secure a new job.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Zameen Brar

Enterprise: GIDDINS

Why did you join Challenges: To know more about how to establish a business and improve upon my Communication skills. And as well learn from others to improve upon my skills.

Skills you would like to improve: Data inputs skills , presentation Skills, communication skills.

 

Meet the team: Zameen

Name: Zameen Brar

From: London.

Before the placement: I worked as a Clinical Trials Practitioner, and launched a travel business called Backpacker Hacker.

After the placement: I will continue working on my travel business while living in Colombia or Japan.  I joined Challenges to understand how to grow and scale a socially responsible enterprise. Before I leave I would like to understand how a profitable business is structured, and make contact with future Backpacker Hacker collaborators.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Victor Seyram Ekissi

Enterprise: Giddins

 

Meet the team: Ciara

Name: Ciara Farren

From: Manchester, UK

Before the placement: I graduated in July from the university of Sheffield with a business management degree. And then was working part time for a charity.

After the placement: I plan to work for a social enterprise or business with a strong moral compass.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Derrick Edem

Enterprise: Asoriba

Why did you join Challenges: I chose Challenges because I have always wanted to volunteer abroad but I wanted to ensure my volunteering would be sustainable. Another reason I chose Challenges is because I have strong business acumen and wide business knowledge that I have gained through my studies, jobs and volunteering.

Skills you would like to improve: I’d like to improve on understanding of business in another country.

 

Meet the team: Derrick

Name: Derrick Edem Sosoo

From: Ghana

Before the placement: Volunteering with other Projects

After the placement: Get a job and also go back to school

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Ciara Farren

Enterprise: Asoriba

Why did you join Challenges: To learn and build upon my skill set

 

Meet the team: Imogen

Name: Imogen Spence

From: Harrogate, UK

Before the placement: Studied chemistry at Durham university for 3 years.

After the placement: Apply for jobs either in consultancy or pharmaceutical industry or cosmetics industry

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Emmanuel Annang

Enterprise: Wazuri Coconuts

Why did you join Challenges: to get experience working in a completely new environment. To gain consultancy experience. To challenge myself.

Skills you would like to improve: I want to develop consultancy skills and interpersonal skills so that I can better understand and work with people of all backgrounds.

 

Meet the team: Emmanuel A

Name: Emmanuel Annang

From: Accra

Before the placement: Managing a clothing line and music

After the placement: Money making

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Imogen Spence

Enterprise: Wazuri Coconuts

Why did you join Challenges: To improve my knowledge in business

Skills you would like to improve: Marketing

 

Meet the team: Andreaa

Name: Andreea Pascale

From: Birmingham

Before the placement: Residential Programme Coordinator for National Citizen Service

After the placement: CMI diploma

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Japhet Koffie

Enterprise: Chris’ Cafe

Why did you join Challenges: develop a comprehensive understanding of what a business implies

Skills you would like to improve: I wanted to inprove my entrepreneurial skills

 

Meet the team: Japhet

Name: Japhet Koffie

From: Ghana

Before the placement: Barista at Impact Hub Accra.

After the placement: I want to be able you stand well and be able to manage my start up business, and CMI diploma

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Andreea Pascale

Enterprise: Chris’s Cafe

Why did you join Challenges: I would like to develop a comprehensive understanding of business and what it takes to own a business

Skills you would like to improve: I would love to develop management and marketing skills, and so far I developed boldness in talking in public

 

Meet the team: Olivia

Name: Olivia Migliari

From: Devon, England

Before the placement: Living and working in Germany

After the placement: Study at the University of Passau in Germany

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Sandra Amoah

Enterprise: Caris Gold Services

Why did you join Challenges: It was such an amazing, unique opportunity so when I stumbled across it in an email I had to apply for the programme.

Skills you would like to improve: Business skills, business skills, business skills. But I also want to explore and work with Ghanaian businesses and see how they differ from that at home.

 

Meet the team: Sandra

Name: Sandra Amoah

From: Accra

Before the placement: Schooling

After the placement: Go back to school

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Olivia Migliari

Enterprise: Caris Gold Services

Why did you join Challenges: To learn, build myself, network and make an impact

Skills you would like to improve: I would like to improve my communication and entrepreneurship skill

 

Meet the team: Gillis

Name: Gillis Holgersson 

From: Sweden

Before the placement: I studied International Relations and Modern History at The University of St Andrews, Scotland.

After the placement: I’m moving to Edinburgh to start a job in management consultancy – I hope to put all the training we get at placement to good use!

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Stephen Boadu

Enterprise: 21st Century Initiatives

Why did you join Challenges: To learn about consulting, to make new friends, and to fulfil my dream of visiting Africa.

Skills you would like to improve: I would like to improve my project management skills, and gain basic knowledge in the day-to-day running of a business.

 

Meet the team: Stephen

Name: Stephen Boadu 

From: Nungua

Before the placement: I was a teaching Assistant the University of Health and Applied Sciences.

After the placement: Start working with Ghana Health Service

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Gillis Holgersson

Enterprise: 21st Century Initiative

Why did you join Challenges: To develop professional skills and public speaking

 

Meet the team: Deborah

Name: Deborah Mansaxya Kakora

From: Ghana

Before the placement: Worked in Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Legal Department

After the placement: Go back to pursue my Master’s degree

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Elliot Hunter

Enterprise: Trotro Tractor

Why did you join Challenges: To develop myself and also help small businesses grow

Skills you would like to improve: I would like to develop my public speaking skills, and also understand business in Ghana.

 

Meet the team: Elliot

Name: Elliot Hunter

From: Dundee, Scotland

Before the placement: Graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in MEng Mechanical Engineering with Management

After the placement: Start a career in Strategy Consulting

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Deborah Mansaxya Kakora

Enterprise: Trotro Tractor

Why did you join Challenges: Professional and personal growth form the corner stone of Challenges. Combined with living and working in an unfamiliar cultural environment offers an experience like no other.

Skills you would like to improve: Presentation skills, cross-cultural working and leadership

 

Meet the team: Douglas

Name: Douglas Akolgo

From: Suaman-Dadieso

Before the placement: Was working on issues affecting my community, country and the world.

After the placement: Continue my social work and start my business.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Claire McFarlane

Enterprise: Social Farm

Why did you join Challenges: To help businesses grow, learn how to manage a business, and also learn from colleagues.

Skills you would like to improve: I want to improve my IT skills, develop good communication skills and gain proper business managerial skills.

 

Meet the team: Claire

Name: Claire McFarlane

From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Before the placement: I had just graduated from the University of St. Andrews where I studied Economics.

After the placement: Enjoying Christmas! Then moving down to London to start working in the Civil Service.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Douglas Akolgo

Enterprise: Social Farm Company Ltd.

Why did you join Challenges: Challenges offers a unique opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a different culture whilst working together with a diverse group of people and hopefully making a positive impact. What is great about Challenges is the emphasis they put on supporting SMEs in developing countries to grow in a way that is sustainable and will have a wider effect on the communities they operate in.

Skills you would like to improve: I hope to develop my professional skills through hands on experience working with a business.

 

Meet the team: Celine

Name: Celine Fleming 

From: Northern Ireland

Before the placement: I recently Graduated from college with a degree in Advertising & Marketing.

After the placement: I hope to specialise in social marketing & seek for new career opportunities which are open to me

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Michael Ofori Atta

Enterprise: Hill Bill Shoes

Why did you join Challenges: To help businesses grow & develop an understanding into how business work within the Ghanaian market

Skills you would like to improve: Finance skills

 

Meet the team: Michael

Name: Michael Ofori Atta

From: Kumasi, Ghana

Before the placement: graduate from the University of Ghana with a degree in Sociology and Adult education.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Celine Fleming 

Enterprise: Hill Bill Shoes

Why did you join Challenges: To aid SMEs grow, build up on my teamwork skills, make connection and also learn how to start up a business.

Skills you would like to improve: Cross-cultural working and teamwork

 

Meet the team: Gladys

Name: Gladys Dzidzom Ohene Sidza

From:  Ho, Volta Region

Before the placement: In Accra

After the placement: I would like to do my MBA

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Barnaby Byrom

Enterprise: Clean Smell

Why did you join Challenges: I joined Challenges in order to better understand the technicalities of business.

Skills you would like to improve: My communication skills.

 

Meet the team: Barnaby

Name: Barnaby Byrom

From: Cheshire, UK

Before the placement: I was University in Liverpool

After the placement: I plan to do my CMI qualification and work in Project Management

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Gladys Dzidzom Ohene Sidza

Enterprise: Clean Smell

Why did you join Challenges: I joined Challenges because of the education opportunities available to volunteers.

Skills you would like to improve: I would like to know more about business techniques, as well as improve my communication skills.

 

Meet the team: Coryn

Name: Coryn Johnson

From: Lancaster, UK

Before the placement: Working at McDonald’s

After the placement: I plan to do my CMI qualification

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Dankwah Redeemer

Enterprise: Aduaba Foods

Why did you join Challenges: I wanted to know more about business operations.

Skills you would like to improve: I would like to improve my human relations.

 
Meet the team: Dankwah

Name: Dankwah Redeemer

From: Ho, Volta Region

Before the placement: In Accra, at the University of Ghana

After the placement: Do an MBA

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Coryn Johnson

Enterprise: Aduaba Foods

Why did you join Challenges: I wanted to engage with others in order to solve real problems

Skills you would like to improve: I would like to improve my researching skills.

 
Meet the team: Joan

Name: Joan Wilson

From: Aburi, Eastern Region

Before the placement: I was doing my National Service placement

After the placement: I will be looking for work

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Precious Allortey

Enterprise: WLAK

Why did you join Challenges: I joined Challenges because I wanted to build my confidence

Skills you would like to improve: I would like to improve my communication skills.

 

Meet the team: Precious

Name: Precious Allortey

From: Greater Accra, Accra

Before the placement: I was in Accra

After the placement: I plan to look for a job after placement

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Joan Wilson

Enterprise: WLAK

Why did you join Challenges: I joined Challenges so that I could improve my cross-cultural relations

Skills you would like to improve: My understanding of business techniques

 

Meet the team: Yash

Name: Yash Bajoria

From: Burton on UK

Before the placement: Student

After the placement: Full Time Employment

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Kwasi Awuah

Enterprise: Wineloya

Why did you join Challenges: After university I felt like I needed to do something that actively helped others in some way shape or form. I saw Challenge Worldwide as a way of gaining business skills from working within a small to medium sized enterprise where the structures of the company would be easier to define. Additionally I believe that one of the best ways of improving an economy is by utilizing the entrepreneurial spirit of the citizens. I hope that my experiences give insight to the CEO of the company to see any improvements that otherwise would not have been seen.

Skills you would like to improve: I have developed my analytical skills greatly. Understanding exactly what is said and understanding what that means for the company for example. I also learnt about how a service companies are organised to deliver a value adding service. I hope to learn more about website programming and understand how to develop ideas into tangible work with deadlines and milestones.

 

Meet the team: Kwasi

Name: Kwasi Amankwah Awuah

From: Ghana

Before the placement: Working as a freelance web developer and content creator

After the placement: Go back to working

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Yash Bajoria

Enterprise: Wineloya

Why did you join Challenges: I usually take time off to give back in some way to the society that has given a lot (if not so much) in making me who I am. Challenges gives this opportunity and helps to build me up with experience and skills in consulting as well.

Skills you would like to improve: I look to have my overall understanding of business processes improved, and also to have a look at how the finances of a company weaves into other aspects. Also I would like to pick up ideas on what to look out for when starting a business.

 

Meet the team: Emmanuel B

Name: Emmanuel Bazire Nangode

From: Ghana

Before the placement: Working in a media house as an event planner/organiser part time and working on my music career as well.

After the placement: Start a record label and continue working part time as well.

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Harry Peterson

Enterprise: Space Turnkey Solutions

Why did you join Challenges: I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to contribute to the development of his community one way or the other. I read about CWW online and I realised they see things the way I see it thus “teaching people to fish rather than giving them fish”. I joined the team therefore to learn more and in my learning help others to develop as well.

Skills you would like to improve: Working with people is one skill I have really developed. Before this cycle began I never thought working with people from different cultures and backgrounds could be very difficult, but it turned out to be at the beginning and I worked on it as time went on. Thinking outside the box and being open is another skill I have developed and wish to continue developing. Sales and marketing is one skill I wish to acquire before the end of placement.

 

Meet the team: Harry
Name:
Harry Peterson

From: Weymouth, UK

Before the placement: Before placement I work as an Estate Agent

After the placement: Either establish my own business or go to University

Role: Business Support Associate

Counterpart: Emmanuel Bazire Nangode

Enterprise: Space Turnkey Solutions

Why did you join Challenges: I had previously visited Africa a few years ago and wanted to return ever since, however, this time I want to make a real difference. With a keen interest and background in business, such as previous work with the Princes Trust, I could not pass up such a fantastic opportunity.

Skills you would like to improve: The list of skills that I would like to improve on is exhaustive, from social to business related skills. So far I have learnt the importance of listening and respecting other beliefs, cultures and attitudes – this is applicable on both a business and social level. Another skill is problem identification, being able to see where the issues lie, not only in a professional circumstance but a social context too. From there, you can work on a solution that involves and is advantageous to all parties.

 
Meet the team: Lexis

Name: Lexis Anim

From: Ghana

Before the placement: Working as an administrative assistant in a mining and construction firm.

After the placement: No plan put in place yet. Will continue with my education alongside working and also get my CMI certification.

Role: Team Leader

Counterpart: Ropa Rusere

Why did you join Challenges: I wanted to learn more about business and what it takes to be successful. I have plans to start my own business in future, so this was a perfect way to gain the experience and knowledge I would need.

Skills you would like to improve: I have developed my business analytical skills (I now understand how to use basic analysis tools, e.g. PEST, SWOT). I have also learned how to work well with others from different backgrounds, and improved my communication skills.

 

Meet the team: Ropa

Name: Ropa Rusere

From: Birmingham, UK

Before the placement: I was working for an educational charity that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get into the UK’s top universities.

After the placement: Get my CMI qualification. No fixed plans yet, but potentially post-grad study.

Role: Team Leader

Counterpart: Lexis Anim

Why did you join Challenges: I wanted to gain professional experience in Sub-Saharan Africa. I also wanted to be exposed to the business environment here – I had read a lot about the potential of doing business in Africa, as well as private-public partnerships for development, and I wanted to see for myself what that potential looks like. So far, I have not been disappointed! This experience has truly been life-changing and eye-opening.

Skills you would like to improve: In the time I’ve been here, I’ve developed my resilience and ability to resolve problems in challenging situations. I’ve also learnt a lot about my leadership style, and gotten to know myself in terms of how I manage people. This programme has pushed me beyond my comfort zone

 

 

Name: Peter Adetor

From: Ghana

Before the placement: Working in KNUST as an Administrative Assistant.

After the placement: I plan to pursue my CMI qualification.

Role: Team Leader

Counterpart: Lucy Gibson

Why did you join Challenges: I joined Challenges because of my interest in International Development also, out of curiosity, soo many charities trying to alleviate poverty through donations, funding etc. but challenges does so through private sector development which is unique, very impactful, and sustainable that’s my motivation.

Skills you would like to improve: 3 things- People management skills, Professional skills in Business Management, cross-cultural working.

 

Meet the team: Lucy

Name: Lucy Gibson

From: Bognor Regis

Before the placement: Working on a contract with Google Maps on projects improving location accuracy.

After the placement: I plan to find a job working for a social enterprise as my time at challenges has enlightened me on the good work that they do and I want to learn more about how they operate successfully. I also want to start my own business based on the skills and knowledge I have gained thus far.

Role: Team Leader

Counterpart: Peter Adetor

Why did you join Challenges: I joined Challenges because I am interested in business and wanted to gain skills that would aid me in becoming an entrepreneur in the future. Also, having an impact in the wider community through empowering local SME’s that will help stimulate the economy was an aspect of the program that appealed to me.

Skills you would like to improve: I want to improve on my leadership, time management, project management, cultural awareness, conflict resolution, resilience and the ability to deal with ambiguous situations.