How can business education make a difference in people's lives and livelihoods?

Another need is that of good business education; These entrepreneurs don't know the basics, which include the importance of book keeping, setting of goals and even costing and pricing of their services.

One of the discussions i had with the women entrepreneurs in Ghana, was titled "where did all the money go?" I found out that they made so much money but were on the same business level and could not account for how the money was spent.

Technology should be affordable, appropriate to the local context and should be linked to the immediate markets for profits, if it is experimental there will less buy-in from the users .

That brings up the important issue of problem-solving, critical thinking and decision-making "soft-skills" in entrepreneurship training. It seems that it isn't just enough to go over how to make a plan and keep the books.

Great question. Based on our experience, our clients tend to see the most effects when they have two sets of content: one for men and one of women (same goes with urban versus rural). It's not that one set of content is at a higher level, but a lot of the examples and case studies need to change. Women entrepreneurs don't respond to the same case scenarios that male entrepreneurs relate to.

To be honest, there are not that many education and training tech programs for entrepreneurs in the developing markets. That's one of the reasons why we started g.Maarifa.

Ekanath: what do you mean by experimental? All technology starts out as experimental- that's how we learn what works and what does not.

Thank you so much to our panel and to all of you for participating in today's discussion. We will leave this discussion open, so please feel free to continue to post your comments!

You can download the GBSN report here, and read more education stories in our Pearson-supported Education Zone.

Yes, I completely agree with you Moses. The skills gap is so wide in Africa and business education has to meet this basic needs. Form my experience, running general workshops on book keeping was not enough, I had to do a one-on-one follow up session with these entrepreneurs. Sometimes I went along with an interpreter to make the communication easier.

I realized the follow up was more productive than the general workshops because you meet their individual business needs

Evanna - how do you balance the need for local (and gender) relevance with the desire to scale?

Evanna: If We are not so sure about the marketability of the technology, we should not implement for commercial propose . Yes all the technology innovation begin with the some sort of experiments, My meaning here is before bringing in such technology for the start-up SMEs/entrepreneurs will be risky .

Yes, It is not so easy to do, but introducing brainstorming sessions, critical and strategic thinking sessions help to expand their mind. What I did in Ghana was to present cases of successful entrepreneurs, which helped them to first believe in their business and then help them think outside the box.

I agree that technology should be affordable and all, but I don't really understand what you mean by experimental

Literacy in the use of information technology will enhance the use of mobile phones and online education technology in order to bring more training and networking opportunities. The school curriculum from primary to secondary and tertiary education must focus more on application of Information technology(IT) to all professions.

Mobile phones and internet are now been used by banks and customers ( e. g. mobile money transfer and payment with mobile phones, ordering and payment through internet banking, ATMs Cards).

Internet is use to send mail, social media (networking, learning etc), web mining for research and website design.

I had the opportunity of assisting a professor to carry out a research in Nigeria on what means of technology was best; universal or separate, and we found out that the technology that appealed to the women was different from that of men.

Women participated more when they heard things; so the use of phone calls, radio and other audio means of disseminating information.

the men responded to things that they could see and read; the use of text messages, TV

So i believe that different technologies will work better

There are many small groups of youth who in a non-formal setting are ready to meet up and be educated AND there are more and more online teacher-volunteers available who want to connect with these groups, using Google Hangout or video-Skype. The challenge is in finding places to gather (with computers and net connection in them) against a payable fee.

David D. Laurel
Hello BFP, been away for a while. Retired from Nestle Phils. I am now a consultant affiliate with Shared Value Initiative. I am finally getting the academe involved in Creating Shared Value by developing a CSV Curriculum for CSV. I am also putting together a Shared Value App as part of the course. My objective is to develop a steady stream of Shared Value practitioners in preparation for their corporate careers. Nice to be back at BFP!