Our One Planet MBA has an extensive guest speakers programme aimed at exposing our students to real life perspectives from those who make business happen. Earlier this year, Miriam Turner from Interface, the company that revolutionised the carpet tiles industry contributed to the discussion around the changing role of business in society while Francis Sullivan of HSBC discussed the relevance of CSR and whether it involves corporate greenwash.
Last night’s talk by social entrepreneur Nana Mainoo aimed at highlighting the opportunities that await entrepreneurs in Africa, an in particular Nana’s home country Ghanna. Doing business in foreign shores and running profitable businesses while doing good for society is not without challenges. In Africa, those challenges abound – from institutional voids to corruption and access to finance. Nana’s business focuses on distributing drugs and other pharmaceutical products to people who can’t afford them. That they can’t afford them does not there is no money to be made – you just have to come up with the right business model that make it possible to run profitable businesses in challenging environments while enhancing the lives of local societies.Nana is a strong advocate of the immense opportunities that await, be they in natural resources, education, ICT and telecoms. Many argue the 21st century will be Africa’s (at long last) and Nana’s talk demonstrates what can entrepreneurial individuals can do while contributing to the development of the continent.