Africa Business Concept Challenge

GBSN is pleased to present the 3rd annual Africa Business Concept Challenge (ABCC), a virtual business concept competition for African undergraduate and graduate students. The competition challenges student teams to develop a viable business concept that addresses a locally-relevant challenge or problem related to Agenda 2063, and inclusive and sustainable development.

The Africa Business Concept Challenge intends to assist young people from the African continent who have an entrepreneurial orientation, a desire to serve their community, and demonstrate the values outlined below. With a focus on promoting responsible business, the competition identifies high potential young people for mentorship and investment. 

Competition Values

  • A commitment to the importance of responsible entrepreneurship and its role in job creation
  • An international outlook
  • A commitment to ethical business practices
  • A strong interest in young people in emerging markets and the role that business can play in creating opportunities that enable them to develop
  • A belief that business is a public trust with the obligation to improve and serve society
  • A commitment to lifelong learning and continuing education

2023 Winning Teams

In 1st Place…


Ashesi University, Ghana

Team Members:
Faith Labija
Anne Alwala Achieng

Faculty Mentor:
Angelina Asenso Addo

Project ChuChu Softies

According to UNICEF, a pack of sanitary pads cost an average of $1.30 even as an estimated 44% of Nigeria’s population (87 million) lives in extreme poverty earning less than $1.90 per day. More than 800 million women and girls menstruate worldwide each day, yet 500 million of those women have no access to sanitary pads. Women and girls with special needs and disabilities disproportionately do not have access to affordable pads. The ChuChu Softies team interviewed females from countries that cut across west Africa, central Africa and east Africa. Our findings showed that most of these girls and women have resorted to alternatives such as rags, socks, tissues and re-washing synthetic pads. These alternatives pose health problems to the users, such as infections. Hence, we produce reusable pads from Lab-certified fabrics and sell them directly to our users. For those who cannot afford our reusable pads, our B2B model caters to them to ensure they access them.

SDGs Identified:
#1 No Poverty
#3 Good Health & Wellbeing
#4 Quality Education
#5 Gender Equality
#6 Clean Water & Sanitation
#8 Decent Work
#12 Responsible Consumption & Production
#13 Climate Action

In 2nd Place…

Team FundMate

Mediterranean School of Business, Tunisia

Team Members:
Anis Knani
Youssef Chebil
Yassine Zaghouani

Faculty Mentor:
Tracy Olson

Project FundMate

Access to finance remains a persistent challenge in Africa. According to the 2021 World Bank Database, 9.4% of Africans, and 9.9% of Tunisians, (aged 15+) have access to formal financing services, compared to 60% in high-income countries. Moreover, the 2018 MSME Finance Gap Database shows that African MSMEs face an annual funding gap of $330 billion. Consequently, African economies have yet to unlock their innovative potential and struggle to compete globally. We aim to create a secure and transparent web platform offering a complete package of crowdfunding services and investment opportunities in Africa, starting locally in Tunisia. The goal is to build the optimal financial ecosystem to foster the growth of innovative projects, provide equal accessibility to investment and encourage investors to indulge in economically rewarding ventures. We strive to promote industry innovation and infrastructure and contribute to decent work and economic growth for all Africans.

SDGs Identified:
#8 Decent Work
#9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
#10 Reduced Inequality

In 3rd Place…


Makerere University Business School, Uganda
UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, Ireland

Team Members:
Luca Massari
Udit Raj
Mohit Santani
Lillian Nalubega
Dennis Asiimwe

Faculty Mentor:
David Nyaluke

Project M.I.A.S.C.

Uganda is the world’s 8th largest coffee producer, but only 10% of its coffee is processed locally. Despite being responsible for around 12% of global coffee production, the sector only contributes about 4.6% to Uganda’s GDP. Uganda’s coffee industry faces many challenges such as low wages for farmers, high unemployment, and low productivity, resulting in a failure to leverage the potential value of the industry. Climate change, deforestation, and unpredictable weather patterns further exacerbate the issue, impacting crop yields and quality, but these issues can also be addressed by focusing on organic specialty forest coffee farming which supports tree care and planting. Analysing data from a local cooperative, the price of graded coffee ready for export is USD 2.1/Kg while the price of ready-to-take coffee fully processed is USD 5/kg. Our solution aims to fully process and make coffee at source in Uganda. This will triple earnings, create needed jobs, promote sustainable practices.

SDGs Identified:
#1 No Poverty
#8 Decent Work
#10 Reduced Inequality
#12 Responsible Consumption & Production

In 4th Place…


Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Ghana

Team Members:
Terese Owusu
David Odametey
Jonas U. Chakpojuk
Precious Maame Gyenabu Ogbonilea
Makafui Yaa Audrey Sedo

Faculty Mentor:
Frederick Owusu Sarpong


The World Bank asserted that, as of 2020, 18% of the total population and 32% of rural dwellers, respectively, practice open defecation. Also, sanitation costs Ghana $79 million, while roughly, 19,000 Ghanaians die from diarrhea primarily due to poor water, sanitation, and hygiene. As a result of these distressing findings, Ghana has become overly dependent on these foreign fertilizers to avert the impact of high sanitation costs and increased deaths. From International Trade, Ghana was the largest fertilizer importer in West Africa in 2020 with 26% of all imports. Nonetheless, fertilizer prices have risen rapidly in recent times, which has driven some farmers who struggle to make revenue directly to use raw feces as fertilizer. However, DAJOMMAP’s approach is to be a stopgap to these crises by using fecal waste which goes through natural decomposition with the use of ash to lower the moisture content and to raise the pH level to produce the organic fertilizer, FEWOFERT 63-5.

SDGs Identified:
#1 No Poverty
#2 Zero Hunger
#3 Good Health & Wellbeing
#6 Clean Water & Sanitation
#12 Responsible Consumption & Productio

In 5th Place…


Montpellier Business School Dakar, Senegal

Team Members:
Ibrahim Touré
Dialikatou Diallo
Christina Ndong
Ismaël Koné
Abdoulaziz Nikiema

Faculty Member:
Pathé Fall

Project ATA (Africa to Africa)

Intra-African trade is around 12%, well below other intra-regional trades which are around 40%. Yet it is neither entrepreneurs nor markets that are lacking. The major concerns are related to customs barriers and the fact that many African structures are not formal. This makes the B to B exchange between Africans very difficult. It is in this context that the MBS TEAM is betting on continental development through a fluent exchange between the various economic operators. To this end, we will create a tailor-made platform called ATA (AFRICA TO AFRICA). In line with the main objective, our slogan is: MADE BY AND FOR AFRICANS! ATA will be a B to B trade platform aimed at facilitating trade between different suppliers from Africa. Users will find in this platform all the necessary information (products, prices, customs, and taxes) to sell, buy and export or import their products within the continent. Investors and local project leaders will find their account through an efficient exchange.

SDGs Identified:
#8 Decent Work
#10 Reduced Inequality
#17 Partnership for the Goals

2023 ABCC Virtual Awards Ceremony – recorded on April 19th, 2023.

Building a Prosperous Africa.

Addressing local problems with innovative business solutions.

Why Participate?

Benefits of participating in the competition:

1. Societal Impact

The Challenge offers a chance to make an impact on local community problems.

2. Networking

opportunities with student teams from across the globe, as well as experienced entrepreneurs and industry professionals

3. Mentoring & Industry Experts

High-caliber, experienced judges, who are experienced entrepreneurs and industry leaders

4. Structure, Feedback & Guidance

Personalized, individual feedback during the project development process on the Peaqs platform


Student teams will engage in a four-phased project development process where their business concepts are put up for sale on a virtual stock market on the Peaqs platform, a web-based learning game platform that combines a project development process with a virtual stock market engine for real-time valuation and peer feedback. Projects will be accepted that properly identify and define a local challenge and a business idea that addresses the problem.

All projects must address:

A community challenge or need

A business solution

A viable business concept

Implementation and impact of business solution


The focus of this Challenge is to promote and support responsible capitalism for emerging markets and aims to identify high potential young people for mentorship and investment. 

Registration for 2023 Challenge is now closed.

  • The challenge will be virtual and take place during a 6-week period.
  • Teams must consist of two to five members, where at least two must be current students at an African institution at the time of the competition. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.
  • Each team must have a Captain who will handle communications with GSBN and register the team.
  • Each team must have a faculty mentor upon registering. Mentors will help guide teams and enrich the learning experience.

NOTE: Teams are encouraged to have a general idea of a business concept and problem statement ready to complete registration, but it is not required.

Investor Expert Registration

Please note: more information can be found on the Investor Expert tab.

This year, GBSN is beginning the experience by recruiting some of the most important players in the challenge: Investor Experts.  Investor Experts play the role of investors in a competitive market: they buy and sell shares based on student entrepreneur performance.  Investor Experts can be anyone from entrepreneur practitioners, entrepreneurs-in-residence, to faculty, PhD students, researchers, and even non-African students. This year, Investor Experts will be receiving a unique certificate for their role in this competition, while also being highlighted throughout the process.


Show your support by sponsoring this year’s Challenge! Sponsorship will directly contribute to this year’s Challenge. Sponsorship is used to fund the Challenge prizes, tools, resources, etc. that enables GBSN to build and execute a meaningful virtual learning experience for each cohort of student teams.

AACSB International (AACSB), a global nonprofit association, connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and learning and development services to over 1,850 member organizations and more than 950 accredited business schools worldwide. When educational, professional, and business organizations become members of the AACSB Business Education Alliance, they are part of a movement united to improve the quality of business education around the world.

Contact: Ezter, Raluca or Ihsan at;;

SWIFT Institute is the research arm of SWIFT.  It aims to provide knowledge to the global financial industry through sponsored research projects.  The SWIFT Institute unites academic study with the practice of global finance to bolster the spread of new ideas.  Through the funding and publishing of a broad range of cutting-edge research, we encourage collaboration between thought leaders in finance and academia. The over 40 published research papers demonstrate the Institute’s commitment to engaging the industry with relevant, constructive debate.  The SWIFT Institute makes incisive research possible and ensures that the findings are effectively disseminated across the globe. 

Contact: Nancy Murphy at

Thunderbird’s first COE in Sub-Sahara Africa launched in 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, marking the school’s first continuous physical presence in the African continent. Since then, our Nairobi COE has made a significant mark in the region by establishing Thunderbird as a thought leader leading to various important partnerships and initiatives. In addition, our Nairobi COE plays an important role in student recruitment and alumni engagement. Thunderbird’s immediate plans for expansion in the region include a Center of Excellence in Dakar, Senegal.

Contact: Kate Idwasi or Philip Thigo at and

University of Connecticut

It’s simple enough: The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a great university. It’s a rank topping global research institution, with modern campuses scattered across the state to support the energetic, global academic community of UConn Nation. Its talented students exceed expectations. The university’s experienced researchers, passionate faculty, and talented alumni work together with innovation and creativity for a better tomorrow. The university fuels the state’s economy and is committed to inclusion and benefiting the greater good. This is UConn. Students first, UConn always. Huskies forever.

The UConn School of Business

Established in 1941, the UConn School of Business has grown to become one of the most comprehensive business schools in the country. It provides access to a range of exciting academic programs at the bachelorsmastersdoctorate and advanced certificate levels. Students can study these across four Connecticut locations – Storrs, Hartford, Stamford and Waterbury. The School of Business has established a strong reputation for high quality research, teaching, collaboration and outreach, spanning a wide array of functional disciplines, including accounting, finance, management, marketing, and operations and information management.

Purpose Driven

The UConn School of Business provides world-class research and life-transformative education to inspire next-generation innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders, and business talent to propel its graduates’ influence in the world of business. Globally oriented, environmentally responsible, and community-minded, the school’s students and alumni are driven to create what is next in the world, to be innovative agents of change in business and society. A committed ecosystem of faculty, researchers, staff, donors, and alumni support and contribute to a world-class educational experience for UConn students that prepares them for life’s challenges and opportunities. 

Contact: Arminda Kamphausen at


The Africa Business Concept Challenge is a multi-faceted academic opportunity, and GBSN welcomes organizations to provide their support in the form of in-kind contributions. This includes:

  • Non-monetary prizes, such as academic opportunities for students, mentorship, or online certifications
  • Platform support to host the competition
  • Marketing support to a broader network of students and potential Investor Experts

Peaqs is a high level learning game platform that combines a project development project process with a virtual stock market engine for real-time valuation and peer feedback. Peaqs starts off with students forming groups and developing ideas for a viable business, product or service. This output is then presented on a stock market simulation platform where the same students act as individual investors who buy, sell and manage portfolios of the products listed. This provides instant market feedback and motivates the groups to develop their ideas to even greater refinement.

Contact: Aysha Irgens at

An idea was borne by forward-thinking individuals, of an organization that would support African Business Schools through capacity building, collaboration, and quality improvement programmes of deans, directors, and faculty, became a reality when the Association of African Business Schools (AABS) was formally established in October 2005 and registered as a non-profit organization in September 2007. In keeping with the basic tenets of support, collaboration, and development, quality programs such as the Research Excellence workshop, the Case Teaming and Writing workshop, and the Teaching the Practice of Management workshop were developed and offered to members. AABS has evolved over the years, and in 2018 it started on a historic journey with the launch of AABS Accreditation, the first-ever African Accreditation for African business schools. This accreditation is based on values relative to the African continent and promises to bring African business schools to the forefront of management education.

Contact: Lana Elramly at

emlyon business school permanent Faculty is a body of highly qualified professors-researchers. They originate from different backgrounds in terms of nationalities (more than 25) and disciplines. They hold diverse perspectives and approaches to research and pedagogy. They each bring their expertise, experience and know-how to our participants to the academic community and society at large.

Contact: Rickie Moore at

The South African Business Schools Association, SABSA,  is a voluntary association of business school deans and directors and provides the opportunity to influence policy decisions that impact the higher education industry. It provides a space for collaborating, discovering and engaging with colleagues in both the business and academic arenas.  SABSA lobbies and negotiates on behalf of members, and is guided by what members need at any one time. 

SABSA membership is for those business schools who offer a masters in business, accredited by the Council on Higher Education in South Africa. The Association draws the network of business schools together, providing sector collectivism.

Contact: Anne Wilson at

Kenya Economics Students Association, KESA is a National Economics Association that brings together all students pursuing Economics and its related disciplines among universities and colleges in Kenya. KESA is committed to  provide a platform for our members to network, share a wealth of knowledge and skills, seek opportunities in areas of interest and employments among students, graduates; and nurture life skills among its member institutions through mutual  engagements on matters cohesive partnership and prospective progression. This, therefore, means that KESA seeks to empower, sustain and support her member institutions by seeking to make them proactive and have their voices heard in the various campuses where they’re based as the best ahead of the rest. 

Contact: John Nyawa at

The Good Governance Academy is a non-profit organisation that collaborates globally to share information on critical business issues as a public good. A strong alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #17 (Collaboration) and SDG #4 (Quality Education) is intended. Issues include: outcomes-based governance; conscious corporate leadership; value creation in a sustainable manner; integrated thinking and effective corporate reporting including sustainability reporting and integrated reporting.

For more information, please email Maddie Handler at

Stay Informed

Sign-Up for the Mailing List to stay in the loop.


Meet the Team

Email Maddie Handler for questions or concerns.


%d bloggers like this: