I have recently returned from Arusha; Tanzania and I am still trying to wrap my head around what an amazing experience it was. The Happiness Project was something I wanted to be a part of from the moment I heard about it. I was so honored when I was chosen to be one of the three students to work on this project.
Once we arrived the plan from day one was to get into groups of five, do some research on entrepreneurship and then create and implement our own businesses for three days during the second week. The first week was going to be dedicated to research.
During the first week we travelled to five different successful entrepreneurs in the community to hear their stories and learn from their experiences. We took the VHTTI students with us for these experiences so that they could learn as well. These experiences really opened our minds to different business ideas and opportunities.
After our week of learning it was time to create and implement our businesses. My group thought of the idea to sell Avocado Juice, Porridge, and Kachoris (deep fried potato balls). I let my group decide what we were going to sell because they knew what people wanted. Our business did well in sales, our capital was high due to expensive ingredients, but we ended up making a profit. I learned so much about their work ethic during these few days, they are the hardest workers I have ever seen.
Two of the biggest things that I learned while I was in Tanzania was to be determined and to believe in yourself. A lot of people doubted our business from the beginning and it discouraged my team a little bit, but we fought through it and ended up with a success. We fought through the language barrier, the capital challenge and many other challenges we faced along the way. At the end of it all, seeing their happy faces when our group won the competition for "overall best business" was the biggest reward I could have asked for. They were so beyond happy, and I am so glad I got to take part in such a life changing experience.
I feel as if this experience enhanced my leadership skills and enforced my entrepreneurship knowledge. It changed my perspective and gave me a greater appreciation for life. I truly feel that I grew as a person and as a leader. I will always be so grateful for this experience.
Business Admnistration Student
NSCC Pictou Campus