Competition Hands up, wake up, START-UP!

Gruppenbild Start Up beim Auswärtigen Amt
© Goethe-Institut Senegal, Foto: Marie Armbrecht

START-UP! The final: The 30 winners of the regional project of the Goethe-Institutes in Subsahara-Africa as well as their chaperones and Ebenezer Kumi (SEED) meet up in Berlin for the final and third workshop!

Solar-powered drones that assist with the regulation of traffic? A professional enterprise with board games, to offer alternative games to those offered on the smartphone? Electronic bins, which facilitate the separation of waste? With these and other innovative business-ideas, scholars from PASCH-schools (Schools: Partners for the Future) in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda, together with scholars from Germany, applied for the participation in the START-UP! project.

In the context of START-UP! the scholars obtained insight into the world of youth entrepreneurship. How do you develop a sound business-idea? What makes a business-plan a good business-plan? And what does a perfect pitch look like? Two national workshops 2017/2018 imparted the necessary know-how and gave the teams the opportunity to get to know each other and to exchange ideas. The participants received additional motivation through visits to existing start-ups and their success stories.

And then it was time to professionally pitch their idea before a jury. A special main prize beckoned and the winning teams of the national competitions are now in Berlin for the final START-UP! workshop. Here, the program includes intercultural German language classes related to the start-up topics, discussions and exchange of business ideas of the winning teams of all participating countries as well as internships over a 3-day period at start-up-companies in Berlin.

Of course, regional tours to discover Berlin, its people and culture are also part of the program: taking a boat trip down the Spree is a journey of discovery and gives an opportunity to taste a typical German “Bretzel”, following the steps of Frederick the Great at the palace “Sans Souci” and much more. The German scholars of the Tilman-Riemenschneider-Gymnasium in Osterode are the appointed “Junior-PASCH Ambassadors”. They guide their African guests with the assistance of 2 alumni from Uganda, now residing in Berlin, through Berlin to show them this wonderful city through the eyes of teenagers. This special tour will be accompanied by the PASCH-Mobil.

A visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs afforded a chance to have a look behind the scenes and to extend their gratitude for the opportunity to participate in such extensive project. They were greeted by Mrs Bennemann and Mrs Böhm who gave a detailed presentation of the PASCH-network and the scholars were then asked to present their business ideas to them.

Multilingualism and cultural diversity are the essence of START-UP!  which offers a unique opportunity to learn not only German, about the culture and people but also from each other.
…From the youth for the youth!

For more information, as well as pictures, please have a look at our memory book: