Success Through Entrepreneurship Program (STEP)
Upcoming Program: June 5 – 16, 2023
Benin, Africa

The STEP program focuses on providing entrepreneurial training based on the lean startup methodology to help Benin youths, women, and students acquire essential entrepreneurial skills. These skills include designing effective value propositions, creating scalable business models, and developing basic business skills in finance, marketing, communication, public speaking, and management. Participants engage in problem-solving, idea generation, and public speaking activities. The instructors also offer training to community leaders, sharing best practices from the U.S. to support the sustainability of their respective community service programs.

Course Highlights

  • This course is delivered online following the completion of in-person workshops in Benin.
  • The course presents a step-by-step strategic roadmap for launching a successful venture or efficiently bringing innovative products and ideas to the market.
  • You will acquire entrepreneurial skills required to design effective value propositions, scalable business models, and fundamental business skills in finance, marketing, communication, public speaking, and management.
  • Upon completing the Success through Entrepreneurship course, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of how to create, market, and sell a product that meets customer demands.
  • After diligently fulfilling all course requirements, you will receive a certificate of course completion from the Auburn University Outreach Global office. Please note that this is a noncredit course, and it does not grant university credit hours.

Instructor – Dr. Elizabeth Quansah

Dr. Elizabeth Quansah

Dr. Elizabeth Quansah is the Director of Auburn University Outreach Global. She principally facilitates and promote global education, community development, and practical enrichment partnerships with universities, businesses, governmental agencies, and NGOs across the globe for effective and sustainable developmental programs. She occasionally teaches "AU undergraduate Global Fluency class" and is a regular instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn (AU OLLI). Elizabeth also leads administrators, faculty and students for research and exchanges, developed free medical programs for developing countries, and has expertise in negotiating MOUs, establishment of international academic and non-academic partnerships and sustaining them. She was also a contributor and co-editor for "AU in Africa Magazine, help organized the Engagement Scholarship Consortium's (ESC) 2017 National Outreach Scholarship Conference, a convener at ESC 2017 conference and remains active member of Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Elizabeth also served as an Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, for which she provided vision, revised the functions of the enrollment management department, reviewed and designed recruitment materials, admissions processes, and increased enrollment. She is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Instructor – Dr. Lakami Baker

Dr. Lakami Baker

Dr. LaKami Baker currently serves as the Interim Executive Director of the Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI) in University Outreach and holds the Russell Foundation Professorship in Entrepreneurial Studies in the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University. In this role, she helps drive and support economic development and entrepreneurship growth initiatives across the state of Alabama. Additionally, she provides training to civic and elected officials as well as economic developers. Prior to joining GEDI, she served as the Managing Director of the Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship, where she guided students, faculty and community entrepreneurs to creatively generate business ideas, refine their plans to maximize success potential, and prepared them to pitch in front of judges and investors. She prepares entrepreneurs to pitch in front of judges and investors. During her four-year tenure, the student teams she worked with won or raised over $850K in external sources and earned over $930K in revenue. Additionally, the community startups she mentored won $150K in state competitions to grow their businesses.

Dr. Baker is certified to provide training, coaching and mentoring on the lean startup methodologies, value proposition design, and creating and developing sustainable business models by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) and also earned her Business Incubation Management (BIM) Certificate from InBIA. The BIM Certificate is the premier industry credential for the staff of incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, small business development centers and other entrepreneurship programs. She has completed the I-Corps South’s Instructor Academy, serves on the teaching team for Regional I-Corps short courses and has developed structured curriculum for technology commercialization courses.

Baker serves as a co-principal investigator on a $590K grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce to develop an EDA University Center at Auburn University. The Center is focused on advancing regional commercialization efforts, entrepreneurship, innovation, business expansion, and developing a high-skilled regional workforce. She is the business expert on a research team awarded $1.275M to develop and commercialize biomedical implants and rehabilitative orthotics using additive manufacturing.

Baker earned her Ph.D. in Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio and holds a MS in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University. Dr. Baker teaches courses in strategy and technology commercialization at the MBA and executive levels. Her academic research has appeared in top journals such as Academy of Management Journal, The Leadership Quarterly and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Prior to her academic work, Baker spent 11 years at 3M Corporation and held a variety of positions centered on engineering and product management. She served as the leader of the Electrical Supplies Business Unit, which had over $60 million in global revenue in the electrical construction and maintenance industry.

Thank you for your interest in enrolling in the Success through Entrepreneurship Course. To take this course, enrollment is mandatory. If you have completed our level 1 in-person course format with Dr. Quansah and Dr. Baker in Benin, please contact our office to proceed with enrollment.

Once we receive your email, our staff will be in touch with you to provide the next steps. When emailing us, please include your first and last name.

Dr. Elizabeth Quansah
Director, Office of Outreach Global
Tel: 334-844-5716

Olivia Houlden
Administrator, Office of Outreach Global
Tel: 334-844-5709

Thank you, and War Eagle!

Last Updated: June 7, 2023