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SU institute working on program in Ghana

By Kevin Tampone


SYRACUSE — The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University is helping to export a program providing entrepreneurship training to people with disabilities to Ghana.

BBI Senior Vice President Gary Shaheen and Romel Mackelprang, an Eastern Washington University professor and researcher on accessibility for people with disabilities, and other partners worked during the week of Feb. 7 in Ghana on the effort. The group is working to replicate an approach known as “Inclusive Entrepreneurship” in the country.

The program provides aid to people with disabilities that allows them to become self employed, often with the help of students enrolled in a joint Martin J. Whitman School of Management and BBI course on inclusive entrepreneurship consulting.

The proposed project in Ghana includes creating an entrepreneurship curriculum that could be delivered on-site and through distance learning. The program would involve students from Ghana and the U.S. to serve as consultants to local entrepreneurs with disabilities, according to BBI.

The effort would also provide micro-loans and technical assistance to emerging enterprises.

BBI and Eastern Washington University are currently drafting proposals for funding to help about 45 people with disabilities per year start businesses using the “Inclusive Entrepreneurship” approach in Ghana. The goal is to enroll and train more than 125 students per year to serve as consultants to the entrepreneurs.

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