From the 15th to the 30th of September 2017 the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan hosted the first edition of the Summer School “Food, Fashion, Design: creative enterprises between Italy and Africa”. The course was launched by ALTIS -Graduate School Business and Society of Università Cattolica, ModaCult Centro per lo studio della moda e della produzione culturale of the same university and E4Impact Foundation, under the patronage of the Comune di Milano, in collaboration with the Cultural Association Le Rèseau and with the sponsorship of Banca BPER, Fondazione Cariplo and the Organizzazione Mondiale per le Migrazioni – OIM.
The purpose of the Summer School was to focus on the positive contamination of different businesses and cultures between Italy and Africa and on the benefits that creative enterprises can give to the economy of these Countries. Indeed, Africa is a fertile land of opportunities, with its cultural production and sensitivity for the Made in Italy.
The Summer School analyzed the dynamics of the Made in Italy in the sector of Food, Fashion and Design, supported its participants in developing new business models and gave them competences and skills (from digital marketing to financing) to explore new opportunities in the above mentioned business fields. During the course, the 13 participants (among which people with African origin) have also met African and Italian entrepreneurs interested in developing businesses connections with Italy and Africa. Their networking brought an intercultural exchange of knowledge and interaction between the two realities.
Lessons, practical workshops and the help of a business coach led participants through the analysis, identification and elaboration of their own business model. The result has been a series of interesting business ideas like Agri-ayo, a project of production and commercialization of vegetables focused on creating work places in Ivory Coast; or WATU, an e-commerce platform for little artisans from East-Africa that want to sell African products on the western markets; or African Cookery, a service of food delivery in Italy, which offers different choices of traditional African food.
In addition to the Summer School’s curriculum, every Friday night the participants had the chance to know better each other and expand their network during dinners with special guests, fashion shows (in collaboration with the Afro Fashion Association) and other dedicated events. These moments were occasions of stimulating intercultural exchange and were very appreciated by the participants and the organizators.
The success of this first edition confirmed the value of such an initiative and the importance of its goals, and that’s why the organizing bodies are working together on the launch of the second edition of the Summer School to be held in January 2019.
Summer School Coordinator