Young African entrepreneurs learning business skills in Iowa

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Some young leaders from Africa are learning about business in the Quad Cities.

About 25 entrepreneurs visited the Bereskin Art Gallery in downtown Davenport on Wednesday, July 12.

The group is in Iowa this summer as part of the Mandela Washington Fellows program. It brings young people from Sub-Saharan African countries to the University of Iowa to network and learn business and entrepreneurial skills.

The program combines classroom learning with company visits.

"I saw things quite differently, like, I'm already doing my business, but I saw ways I can improve, how I can better manage staff, finances, and also see other opportunities," said Nawsheen Hosenally, who runs an agribusiness television program in Burkina Faso.

Many of the participants are also getting their first taste of the American Midwest.

"I love Iowa. I never noticed it on the map even, it was just one of those states in the middle, but I was so pleasantly surprised," said Ditiro Coyne, a veterinarian from Botswana. "Just the welcoming nature of everyone, that's just amazing. I've never seen that anywhere, pretty much in the world."

The fellows will be learning in Iowa for two more weeks as part of the six-week program.