Mission: Fighting poverty in Guinea-Bissau.
The center will focus on teaching English and business principles (entrepreneurship). The center will achieve its mission through partnership with the University of Utah (the U), Utah Valley University (UVU), and other U.S. institutions to create lasting educational and livelihoods opportunities in Guinea-Bissau. The U and UVU will provide academic support to the center, which include teachers (interns) - undergraduate and graduate students.
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The center’s primary program seeks to:
1. Transform Guinea-Bissau into an entrepreneur country through empowering Guineans toward sustainable development based on the building of small businesses.
2. Start the school in Bissau (the capital) and then expand to rural regions of the country.
3. Provide a high quality of education to our students to make sure they learn the skills and gain the knowledge that will help them break out of the cycle of poverty and secure their future.
4. Cooperative businesses: students will create start-ups in groups.
5. Business transition: support group's transition from cooperative businesses to individual business (if a group want to).
6. Gender equality: increase opportunities for girls/women to benefit fully from a quality training and access to investments.
7. Make sure our students have the right tools and experience in order to overcome the barriers that prevent small businesses from progressing in Guinea-Bissau.
8. Development of venture ideas including demand validation and market research to make sure an idea is actually marketable and people would really buy it.
9. Partner with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and European Union (EU) to provide one-time funding for our student’s projects (star-ups).
10. Students will pay back the one-time funding through a perpetual fund that will go toward new projects.
11. Encourage Bissau-Guinean businessmen with investment capacity to invest on our student’s projects in order to boost the country’s economic growth.
12. In addition to teaching English and business/entrepreneurship, we will teach basic conflict prevention, conflict transformation, peace-building, mediation, and reconciliation skills. Our plan is to partner with the Summit Research, Development, and Peacebuilding Center in West Africa that will have its primary office in Bissau.