Fraidianie Sévigné (centre front row), Lead Mentor for H2i International ventures and advisor for Catalyst+, recently visited Ghana, where she collaborated with H2i FemSTEM partner, Social Entrepreneurship (SE) Ghana. Furthering this important partnership, she worked with SE Ghana to deliver compliance training to ventures in the SE Ghana community. Sévigné took the ventures through strategies for navigating the complexities of exporting products to Canada. Tailored to the specific needs of each venture’s industry, the training spanned food processing, cosmetics, and consumer goods. The completion of this compliance training by five SE Ghana members across three modules, coupled with insightful site tours provided an in-depth understanding of their businesses, marked another successful partnered activity of entrepreneurial education for Ghanian ventures. This also set the stage for another exciting collaboration just around the corner — H2i’s FemSTEM Africa series. 

H2i recently announced the launch of FemSTEM Africa, in collaboration with SE Ghana. Part of the ongoing work of the African Higher Education Collaboration‘s Health Entrepreneurship (HENT) Pillar, H2i and SE Ghana are working together to expand H2i’s FemSTEM programming to the African continent as part of the Collaborative’s objectives to increase women-led ventures across the continent. Through these and other partnered activities, H2i, along with Sévigné, who was a featured guest speaker of the FemSTEM 2023 event series, is delighted to continue to learn from SE Ghana about their entrepreneurial ecosystem and work together to create pathways for health innovation, gender equity within the field, and more. 

Reflecting on the recent training, Sévigné shared, “Working with SE Ghana in Ghana was such an enriching experience. I met women entrepreneurs at different stages in their journey. These talented women shared their passion and the challenges crossing their path. It is inspiring to see their courage to break barriers, and the dream they cherish of educating themselves to be able to export their products. Thank you to H2i International for putting SE Ghana on my radar and to Catalyst+ for making this collaboration possible.” 

Alongside the compliance training, Sévigné worked with SE Ghana to determine strategies for exporting products from their member’s businesses. Sévigné, drawing insights from member feedback and gap assessments, provided valuable recommendations. Introducing models, such as a members’ triage system and Level classification tailored to individual readiness, the initiative aims to amplify its impact. Further, virtual meetings were conducted with Canadian businesses, and led to additional potential partnerships. 

Sévigné expressed her admiration for the resilient women entrepreneurs in Ghana’s social entrepreneurship scene. Having experienced H2i’s FemSTEM programming as an attendee, a speaker and a mentor, Sévigné encourages women to explore the opportunities presented by FemSTEM Africa this spring, believing it can break barriers and empower aspiring entrepreneurs. 

Interested in taking part? Registration is now live for the FemSTEM Africa Kickoff and Panel Event happening this April!