Cacao Plant

IBUS 6403: Graduate Global Enrichment in Ghana

Made in Ghana: From Cocoa to Social Enterprises

Program Dates:


Pre-departure classes: Fall B term: Thursdays, 6 - 8:30pm

Program Travel: January 5 - 18, 2025

Information Session 9/19/23 Recording

Information Session 9/19/23 Slides

Program Details

    Increasingly, some consumers in the United States have been taking a closer look at how their food is produced and who benefits from the money they spend at the register.  Additionally, we are also becoming more conscious of the waste that we are generating and the impact that it creates.

    On any given package or Farmer’s Market table, some claims range from the type of seeds used (e.g., GMO v. Non-GMO) to the conditions on the farm (e.g., shade-grown, organic) to the distance the food has traveled (e.g., local, Grown in ….). This growing ‘food awareness’ by consumers has created opportunities for partners throughout the production process to initiate changes in their practices to try and better align with shifting consumer preferences.

    While corporations are changing practices and packaging, the governments of Ghana and Ivory Coast, which combined produce about two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, in June 2019 set a floor price on the cocoa produced in their countries in an effort to combat farmer poverty. 

    At the same time that Ghana is a leading global exporter of cocoa, it is also a leading global importer of secondhand goods – much of the things we buy and fail to sell at the garage sales we pass to donation centers, such as Goodwill. If it lingers too long on the shelves of Goodwill, it is likely destined for destinations in Africa. Ghana’s business ecosystem is bustling, with Ghanaian entrepreneurs creating social enterprises. Ghana is producing the most female entrepreneurs globally. 

    This program is designed to explore how the commodities of cocoa, social enterprises, and secondhand goods are transformed through value addition and sold into markets at price multiples well above their base ‘farm gate’ price. 

    To understand this commodity extraction and value creation process, we will learn about Ghana’s long history and rich culture and how entrepreneurs and business people in Ghana are participating in this transformation. 

    If you care about where your food comes from, the added value of social enterprises,  and where the Turkey Trot 5K t-shirt you left at Goodwill last year is today or learn from the country producing the most female entrepreneurs in the world,  join us in Ghana to find out.

    Ghana is considered one of the more stable countries in West Africa since its transition to multi-party democracy in 1992.  Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1957, becoming the first sub-Saharan nation to break free from colonial rule.  Gold, cocoa, and oil form the cornerstone of Ghana's economy and have helped fuel an economic boom.

    Students will stay in double rooms with students of the same gender at a centrally-located hotel in Accra. Because networking and community-building are key parts of the program, students will not have the option of a single room. Guests are not permitted during the program. Breakfast will be provided daily at the hotels and some lunches will be provided as part of the program. A welcome dinner and closing dinner are also included in the program fee.

    • 4 graduate credits
    • Grading is A-F basis

    This program is open to 20 Carlson graduate students in good academic standing, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 at the time of application.  The application process is competitive, and space is limited. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

    U.S. citizens will need a valid passport and entry visa for travel to Ghana. If you already have a passport, you need to check the expiration date and confirm that it is more than seven months after the program ends. If you do not have a passport, or your passport needs to be renewed, you will need to apply for one immediately upon confirmation.

    A visa is a document that proves that travel into a particular country has been approved by their governing body. U.S. citizens need a visa to enter Ghana and students will be responsible for securing this visa. Non-U.S. passport holders should check with the Ghanaian consulate regarding visa requirements and fees. While the CGI Program Manager will not secure visas for students, they will support the process with necessary University-specific documentation.  Please reach out to the Program Manager with any questions.

    To apply, please visit the Apply page. Students will be charged a $50 application fee.

    The application cycle starts on March 15 and the priority deadline is April 15. 

    Applications for programs that do not fill by the priority deadline will be accepted on a rolling basis until full. Priority deadline applications will be reviewed and students will be informed of their status no later than May 15.

    Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad. University of Minnesota students are eligible for education abroad scholarships. Please see Financial Aid and Fellowships webpages for more information including deadlines.

Cost Estimate (Summary)

These estimates will vary based on student preference and exchange rates. All details subject to change based on economic and international factors. Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad programs.

*Calculated based on the estimated 2022-2023 PTMBA tuition rate. Students enrolled in another degree program will be charged the tuition rate for four credits associated with their degree program. Please see OneStop for more information about tuition and fees or contact us with questions.

** Final program fee will depend on participation numbers and could be lowered but will not increase.

Estimated tuition for four PTMBA Academic Credits (not including collegiate, graduate student assembly, or transportation fees)* $6,640
Program Fee (including lodging, program events, in-country transportation, breakfast daily, two group meals, and international health insurance) $4000**
International airfare between Minnesota and Ghana $2,000
Passport & Photos, Ghana visa (based on prices for U.S. citizens) $225
Textbooks/Course Materials $35
Daily Living Expenses (local transportation, incidentals, internet, laundry, etc.) $300
Meals (lunch and dinners not included in Program Fee) $300
Total $13,500


Academic term(s)
January 2-week travel (with Fall on campus course)
Degree level
Carlson Global Institute (CGI)
Program Model