Cultural Entrepreneurship & Documentation Program Grenada – Entrepreneurship, Culture and Travel – How do these connect? This was my second year participating in the Cultural Entrepreneurship and Documentation program in Grenada. Being a part of this program twice is a true delight and honour. Each part of the project allowed me to discover personal learning and growth through interviewing, team building, logistics and managing expectations. The project brings together students and faculty from NSCC and TA Marryshow Community College.
The project this year had two themes – folklore and superstition, and theatre and performing arts. Our goal was to collect and document oral history based on these themes. To prepare, we researched the themes focused on Grenada as well as Nova Scotia. We also did an exploration of entrepreneurship and what this means. Through this pre-departure research we were better prepared for the on site project work.
Folklore is part of culture. The stories that are passed down from each generation explain history, natural forces and social norms. Grenada is rich in folklore and superstitions. During the first phase of the project, we conducted and documented numerous interviews with local experts and historians. We uncovered so many stories that need to be retold in a way to engage people and young generations. From here, our role was to find a solution to ensure that the folklore stories are not lost. Our student teams were innovative to use their new found knowledge to create a business concept.
Our second theme, performing arts was largely centered on theatre. Students from TAMCC and NSCC were joyous to learn and uncover the importance of performing arts in Grenada and society as a whole. The need to communicate the value of the arts in general was the highlight of the learning. Recreating the stories and communicating contemporary messages and was an important aspect of this theme as well. The student teams were challenged to find a solution to ensure the value of performing arts is understood in Grenadian society.
From each theme, emerged issues and problems, that required an entrepreneurial approach. Each student team (NSCC and TAMCC students), presented a business concept to a general audience of over 50 people. The audience members were engaged! They challenged and supported the student business concepts. The students were proud of their accomplishment and so were the faculty and administrators.
Bringing together a multidisciplinary cross-cultural team can have challenges; but the rewards are worth it. As we all embarked on this journey we sometimes did not have a clear understanding of how we fit into this cultural documentation and entrepreneurship project. As the days unfolded and the work began, I started to see each learner’s personal strengths emerge and blend nicely into a team. One NSCC student commented that he had never understood what his role was in a team or group setting but participating in this project made him realize that he can adapt to different roles according to the team dynamic. Another student discovered that she learned how to communicate using a business presentation and she can do this with conviction. A third student actually took the time to use her five senses entirely and develop critical thinking in order to make better decisions.
My unique learning experience was working with the team, successfully engaging learners into a discussion about our project themes, and uncovering that we all have an ability to be entrepreneurial (innovative risk takers, working through challenges with little resources). Travelling and learning are indeed entrepreneurial.
Thank you to the team at NSCC International for ensuring this program is a yearly success. Larry Bergeron and Janet Hawkwood also helped pave the way to ensure the project was successful. Our TAMCC counterparts are always a pleasure to work with and I appreciate their support to NSCC. The students in this year’s project were so much fun and I am proud of their learning. I especially need to make mention of Zoran Kondali and Erin Moore for sharing their personal strengths and passion with me to ensure we had an effective and successful project – you both are great NSCC colleagues and travel companions.
Faculty, Business Administration
NSCC Truro Campus