Experiential learning: How it works

Building on that program, we started the Inclusive Agribusiness Centre (IAC) in 2016, from which we provided business model advice to agricultural companies. From that experience, we are now also providing tailor-made training to businesses, such as our work with Cowtribe Technology from June to December 2017.

"MDF’s approach is based on experiential learning; learning by doing and reflecting upon it to make improvements," Susanne Roelofsen

This includes reflecting on what is already being provided by other partners and avoiding the duplication of efforts. For example, when we started with the IAC, we looked for business support tools which we found in a partnership with the Inclusive Business Accelerator in the Netherlands. Their toolkits combined existing tools, such as Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas, brought together in a comprehensive toolkit for business development. We have added our own methods to these tools to design programs that matter.

This January, a call for proposals came out to set up and manage an innovation hub in Ghana, with the aim to contribute to the innovation and digitisation of Ghana’s economy. This two and a half year project, funded by the World Bank through Ghana’s Ministry of Communication eTransform program, has a tech component which is not part of our core business.

Coming up at the Innovation Hub: incubation and acceleration programs

Where MDF is experienced in business development and capacity building, we started looking for partners that could add this technology expertise to our bid. We found that in BlueSpace Africa, an IT provider in Ghana, and the Ghana Technology University College, who have their campus network to serve as a pool for young talent. We were awarded the contract in June and opened the Ghana Innovation Hub on the 1st of October.

The hub offers a physical space, business development services, investment matchmaking and ecosystem support. We are currently designing the incubation and acceleration programs. These will be run from the hub. We are looking forward to more strategic collaboration for a better support system for the growing businesses in the region.

Are you interested in our work, a partnership or curious to see what MDF can do for you? Contact us on mdfwa@mdf.nl