I’d Like To Teach The World To Market

Posted on 25 June 2009

I’m going to Senegal from November 20 to December 5 as part of a team of international volunteers who’ll be teaching young women about business and marketing! Who wants to come with us?

Mariéme Jamme

Mariéme Jamme

 

Through twitter, I recently connected with an inspiring woman named Mariéme Jamme (on twitter: @Mjamme). She was born in Senegal, West Africa and now lives in the UK. Describing herself as a serial/social entrepreneur, she advises and supports many NGOs around the world, and through her Mariéme Jamme Foundation she empowers women, men and children through education, health, wealth and social entrepreneurship.

10,000 girls
For several years, one of Mariéme’s friends in Senegal, an African-American woman named Viola Vaughn, has been running a local support programme called “10,000 girls”, which takes girls who are failing at school and puts them through university and also equips them with business skills. Through the programme they create and export products. Half of the money funds the education programme and the other half goes to the girls.

Here’s a short video about Viola and her work.

10,000 entrepreneurs

Mariéme now wants to help Viola take the project to the next level. Another wonderful UK-based twitterer named Richard White (on twitter: @Richard_White), who is helping Mariéme with this project, explains: “The next stage of the evolution for Viola is to help educate the girls further so that they can build more sustainable businesses. They do not want money, they want business education. Through the Mariéme Jamme Foundation we are organising an initial trip to Senegal which will be a mixture of fun and teaching business. We are calling the trip ‘10,000 entrepreneurs’ and our aim is to further raise the level of business education. Any contributions we make will be to assist them in their business development, e.g. more sewing machines sourced locally.

“During the trip we will give lessons as well as visit The University of Dakar and also run the first-ever business networking event for the local business community. We are hoping to get the local business community involved in raising the level of enterprise and the level of skill. Everything will be designed to be self-sustaining. We also hope to get plugged into organisations doing micro-finance to help fund new businesses and get a local business mentoring programme going. When we return we will use internet and social media technology to continue nurturing and mentoring local leaders and champions.”

I volunteered

So I put my hand up and said yes, I’m interested in going on the trip (November 20-December 5). After all, I love teaching people about marketing; I’ve always wanted to travel to Africa, and I speak French (one of the official languages of Senegal).

Just a few days ago I spoke with Mariéme. She told me that the dream is to provide business training for the young women and their teachers, and eventually to set up an e-commerce website to sell the products that the young women produce. She also offered me the opportunity to give a 20-minute presentation (in French!) about marketing at the business networking event to be held on December 2. That’s exciting, and a bit scary.

Looking for sponsorship

Of course to make all this happen, Mariéme is looking for sponsorship to cover airfares for the team of people participating in the trip (she calls us “The Dakar Dragons”), and to buy sewing machines.

If you’re interested in being involved in or supporting the project in any way, or if you know of any potential sponsors, please contact me or Mariéme.


4 responses to I’d Like To Teach The World To Market

  • Sophie Paine says:

    Hi Kay,

    Great project. You may know my organisation is doing similar courses mainly in HK and Cambodia: empowering low income people (mainly women but not only) through financial and business education. If you or Marieme needs support, please let me know. The 2 things I can think of are:
    – our training courses with lots of pictures and stories are available for NGOs to use,
    – French translation (that’s my mother tongue).
    Please keep me posted!
    Bonne chance,
    Sophie

    • kay says:

      Hi Sophie – that’s great, merci beaucoup! Could you please contact Marieme directly to introduce yourself and to tell her about your training courses? And I’ll contact you soon for some help with writing my presentation in French. Kay

  • Absatou says:

    I would really like to be a part of this project!
    I have a BA in international relations and plans on helping develop businesses in the agricultural and ecological sector. I am interested in sustainable development and is convinced of the ability of the country to be self-sufficient if the resources are well managed and if we think more often out of the box.
    I am Senegalese, so I speak French. I have no doubt about being a great addition to your team!
    I also am a networking addict, lol.

    Please, don’t hesitate contacting me. I’m supposed to start my master program next semester, but I would definitely spend a few weeks out of school for this project. I’ve been working and talking about developing countries projects for 3 years. this would be a great opportunity for me to see how realist my ideas are.

    so, send me an email, contact me on twitter, facebook and we’ll talk.
    There is something interesting to be done here.

    • kay says:

      @Abatsou – thank you! I’m not the organiser of the project, and it’s not up to me to decide who participates – you need to contact @Mjamme on twitter. It certainly sounds like you’d be an excellent addition to the team. Kay

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