BUILD-in-a-Box: Empowering African Youth Through Entrepreneurial Leadership

BUILD-in-a-Box is a two-day entrepreneurial leadership camp that ignites the potential of African youth. Held during the summer break (June to August) across various African countries, these camps provide a transformative experience for participants aged 16 to 19. Facilitated by ALA students and alumni, BUILD-in-a-Box combines experiential activities and critical thinking to empower and inspire young changemakers.

What is BUILD?

At the heart of BUILD-in-a-Box lies ALA’s unique design thinking model called BUILD. This framework equips participants with the tools they need to tackle real-world challenges in their local communities.

  • Believe: Participants learn to believe in their ability to effect change. They embrace a mindset of continual improvement and recognize their power to shape the world around them.
  • Understand: BUILD encourages empathy. Youth entrepreneurs understand the needs, aspirations, and pain points of their community. By listening and observing, they gain insights that inform their entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Invent: Armed with empathy, participants generate a wide range of possible solutions. They prototype and test their ideas, seeking feedback from potential customers and stakeholders.
  • Listen: The iterative process continues as young entrepreneurs listen to feedback, refine their solutions, and adapt. Listening ensures that their ventures align with community needs.
  • Deliver: Finally, participants mobilize resources and leverage networks to deliver impactful solutions. Whether it’s a social enterprise, a tech startup, or a community project, BUILD empowers youth to turn ideas into action.

Impact and Partnerships

In the past year, ALA collaborated with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) to enhance the delivery of BUILD-in-a-Box camps. Recognizing that transformation requires more than just ideas, this partnership emphasizes project management skills. Youth emerge not only with innovative concepts but also with the ability to implement them effectively.

In just eight years, BUILD-in-a-Box has engaged over 5,300 participants across more than 130 cities, facilitated by over 617 ALA alumni and students.

As BUILD-in-a-Box continues to expand its reach, it stands as a testament to the power of cultivating homegrown solutions to Africa’s challenges. By nurturing the next generation of innovative leaders, these camps are shaping a brighter, more prosperous future for the entire continent.

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