Madison College inks licensing agreement bringing business curriculum to Africa

Associate Degree
Business and Applied Arts
CEO, founder and Madison College graduate Ousmane Kabré

Madison College has entered into a partnership, via a licensing agreement, with YAM Education, Inc. that will bring entrepreneurship and small business courses to Africa. YAM is a start-up company founded by Ousmane Kabré, a Madison College graduate turned CEO, founder and developer. He says YAM means ‘intelligence’ in Mossi, one of the official regional languages of Burkina Faso.

For Kabré, who served as a former Wisconsin Technical College System State Ambassador, this partnership realizes the longtime vision of giving more African students access to the same high-quality business education he experienced at Madison College.

“This has been my goal for the past nine years,” says Kabré, who graduated from Madison College in 2013 with his associate degree of science and then transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed his bachelors and master’s degrees in accounting. "What my technical education has done for me and what I have been able to accomplish in my life is tremendous.”

Broadening transfer relationships

While many of the college’s traditional transfer agreements have been with formal education institutions, this partnership is an opportunity to push the borders and impact of Madison College even further.

“This is realizing the ultimate potential of education, and it’s an important step,” says Madison College President Jack Daniels, noting that similar types of licensing partnerships are not always common for technical colleges.

“The pandemic showed us how portable education can be. Why shouldn’t others—especially those who live where access to education is more limited—benefit from the knowledge that comes from our courses?”

Yam is intentionally designed as an online educational platform with offline capabilities. This allows it to work in remote and low-connectivity areas (like Africa) without compromising the educational content. YAM will license small business and entrepreneurship curricula from Madison College and offer it within its educational platform.

The overall scope and number of courses within the agreement is significant, says Bryan Woodhouse, vice president of corporate and regional affairs for the college.

“These credit courses are being offered directly to students in Africa, greatly expanding Madison College’s reach and creating new pathways into our college.”

Expected results

Upon completion of courses, YAM students earn digital badges and can begin using learned skills immediately within their businesses, industry and community.

It also opens the door for YAM students to continue their educational pursuits at Madison College, allowing them to receive credit for prior learning (CPL) for the classes they took on the YAM platform.

Woodhouse highlighted the importance of CPL within the agreement. He hopes it will encourage more innovative ways to account for past work experience and learning.

“Madison College is committed to finding innovative ways to utilize our cutting-edge curriculum, and to developing creative partnerships with other organizations. We are excited to work with YAM and to assist in the development of more entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso and greater Africa.”

Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) President Dr. Morna K. Foy and Madison College President Dr. Jack Daniels joined CEO and founder of Leading Change – Africa and YAM’s founder, Ousmane Kabré, at the formal signing of this agreement, which took place March 3 at the Madison College’s Truax campus. 

About the agreement:
There are six courses part of this agreement including:

Introduction to Entrepreneurship
Small Business Development
Marketing Principles
Customer Contact Skills
Operations Management
Field Experience

Madison College will also license 20 noncredit modules to YAM, all focused on professional skills like leadership, critical thinking, decision making, emotional intelligence, time management, and more.

YAM students, regardless of whether they continue their studies at Madison College or not, can pursue two unique, co-branded certificates. These entrepreneurship and business plan certificates are both badged:

Entrepreneurship Certificate: Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Small Business Development, Marketing Principles, Customer Contact Skills, Operations Management, Field Experience

Business Plan Certificate: Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Small Business Development, Marketing Principles, Field Experience

To learn more and schedule a media interview with Kabré, please contact Mel Charbonneau directly. 

Madison College offers a wide selection of personal and professional development courses. You can also visit the college's Center for Entrepreneurship to learn more about resources and programming opportunities for business ownership.