An experiential learning experience for young entrepreneurs

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In a simulation environment, young entrepreneurs in developing countries learn how to run their own business. They will not only learn how to become attractive for investors, but also about the broader social and environmental impact of their decisions.

At this moment, we are further developing the idea. We will work with game developers and are in contact with a partner organisation delivering incubation services and entrepreneurship training in Nigeria.

What if young entrepreneurs in developing countries could learn and experiment with different scenarios to start and run their own business, all in a risk-free environment? GameUP! introduces gamification into Oxfam Novib’s existing entrepreneurship work.

Project description

Training young entrepeneurs
Youth employment is high on the development agenda. One of the key strategies to create new jobs in urban as well as rural areas is to stimulate entrepreneurship. Many NGOs, including Oxfam Novib, are supporting young people to become (social) entrepreneurs, yet such trainings do not always provide space for experiential learning and early, low-risk failure.

A true to reality experience
Through GameUP!, aspiring or starting entrepreneurs will directly experience what it means to run their own business and grow it. They will learn how to become more attractive to investors. Players will get immediate feedback on their decisions, which may lead to different levels of staff engagement, productivity and financial profit but also positive or negative social and environmental impact. Unpredictable and random elements (strikes, climate conditions, …) will be introduced to strengthen the suspense element.

While the final product will probably take the shape of a mobile app, we will start with the development of a paper-based prototype and scenario cards. Characters in the game will be designed so that young entrepreneurs from the countries we are working in can easily identify with them. We aspire to include GameUP! into our existing business competitions or enterprise support programmes. We will seek to build linkages to existing platforms linking up entrepreneurs to real-life mentors.


Lien van Mellaert
Summer Lab Participant


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