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Stepping it up with Entrepreneurship

The application and development of methodologies that empower (young) people to start projects, to make them more powerful and innovative.

Photo of Inge de Dreu
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Working directly with entrepreneurs in less developed areas, I found agile methodologies such as the Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup are very useful, however, in practice, accesibility is a big issue for their application. Even when people can access the information as such, it is hard for them to apply sustainably and independently, let alone find an added value for their projects.

Due to these challenges that I found in the wide application of these methodologies, I discovered the need for a method that is easier for people to relate to and therefore, more powerful. Nonetheless, this methodology should both have impact on peoples lives and projects and have the potential to generate innovation, focusing on scalable business.

After discovering and testing, the basic structure of this methodology is now ready to implement more internationally to have a lasting impact on entrepreneurship and the degree of innovation, impact and scalability. As my work has been principally in Colombia, it has been applied there, additionally, Africa seems to deal with the same need for innovation and scalability.

Even though the basic structure and application is available, there are a lot of complementary tools to be developed, both locally and as a general complement to the methodology available. The intention is to validate these tools in and empowering project with youth entrepreneurs, creating real business and resolving real life issues, that may be local or scalable.


Youth entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurial sections of highschools and Universities benefit. It gives them a chance to create real life solutions for problems of their communities, develop for profit and non profit projects, impact their community directly and indirectly. Furthermore this project creates capacities of entrepreneurship in the entrepreneurs themselves, students, teachers and contributes to a more wide and developed entrepreneurial ecosystem, permanently generating innovation.


I worked with entrepreneurship, innovation and personal development mostly in Colombia, in Universities and as a mentor working nationally. After seeing the challenges of a true empowerment, I developed a methodology that leads to more (self-applied)innovation and focuses on a wide, BOP audience.


  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda


  • Not yet.


  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year


The methodology to be used and to be further complemented, the Playground for Entrepreneurs, was developed in Latin America, although Africa seems to have the exact same need amongst entrepreneurs. 

This methodology is focused on first time entrepreneurs, amongst other students in rural areas, youth and BOP. It is visual, easy to understand and made to be as much self-applied as possible, eventually leading to almost self-mentoring. It generates a higher grade of innovation in the business models of the entrepreneurs, through validation of the markets. 

Playground for Entrepreneurship is aligned with Lean Startup and agile methodologies, more precisely, it is a first introduction into these methodologies.


- to empower entrepreneurs to pursue their projects, achieving an augmented grade of innovation in their business models.

- to install a permanent capacity amongst entrepreneurs, mentors and consultants to create innovative and scalable entrepreneurship. 

- to generate examples of successful entrepreneurship in order to stimulate the ecosystem of entrepreneurship. 

Strategic Alliances

Strategic alliances are essential for this project. Early on in the process these alliances should be sought, both institutionally and personally. They may be national or local institutions (may be Universities, accelerators, etc) who are willing to be institutional partners in this project, there could also be individuals who want to join and create impact, who may become part of the team. Contacts could be created either through the platform or independently. 

Action Plan

Fase 1: Finding partners, team mates and contacts

Fase 2: Working with the entrepreneurs and institutions directly 

Fase 3: Feedback, learning, improvement and development of new tools

Fase 4: Expanding, the initially trained people become ambassadors

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Photo of Deborah Nyambu

Inge de Dreu Great idea!