The Blue Nile Program
A business masterclass program for African Australian entrepreneurs
28 August to 2 September 2023
After a three-year development period at Melbourne Social Equity Institute, the Blue Nile African Australian Business Masterclass Program has a new home at Melbourne Business School. Applications for the 2023 MBS program open on 1 June.
The Blue Nile African Australian Business Masterclass Program is a heavily subsidised program designed for African Australian entrepreneurs and leaders of not-for-profit organisations.
The program has been developed by the University of Melbourne in collaboration with the African Australian community to respond to the specific challenges faced by African Australian entrepreneurs in the Australian business landscape.
Participants engage with entrepreneurs, world-class staff executives, managers and community leaders, who will share tools for growing businesses and developing economic opportunities for the community at large.
The Blue Nile Program developed from the Co-designing Business Education Programs with the African-Australian Community Research Project, seed funded by Melbourne Social Equity Institute in 2018.
All the Modules in the Blue Nile program were really insightful and rich in knowledge. I have also been able to broaden my network with fellow start-up entrepreneurs, business partners and friendly networks. After undertaking the program, I feel equipped to grow my business that culturally serves my community but also bring the wider Australian community on board in partnerships. It’s definitely a mini-MBA with practical industry expertise and a whole community that supports your entrepreneurial journey!
There have been several benefits of undertaking the Blue Nile program, including the content and knowledge shared from different lecturers and guest speakers, working together with other Blue Nilers and listening to different business experiences and finally breaking into small break-out rooms over Zoom to do exercises. It has made me rethink the whole idea of doing it all on my own and entertain the idea of bringing in others to join my business because accountability breeds success. I appreciate and really enjoyed the program
I joined the Blue Nile program because I was interested in developing my business skills and adding value to my work. What drew me to the program initially was the diverse range of professionals conducting the course who are highly successful in their respective fields and the opportunity to learn from them, and most importantly, who were African Australians. One of the main benefits of the program and the conversations that took place was improving my real-world experience through other people. The other students in the class were from various fields and I got the opportunity to learn from each of these people, and this enabled me to have a greater understanding for their different walks of life. One of the main takeaways that I was able to implement right away was in my pricing and improving my margins, which was something I picked up in one of the very first lessons. I could not speak highly enough of the overall program, and I hope that I can be involved in the program moving forward.
I heard about the Blue Nile Program through the Victorian Government’s African Community Action Plan. I was advised to have a look at the program and was fortunate enough to be accepted into it. The highlights for me were the Business Negotiation and the Sales and Marketing lessons, which I have applied to my own business. I found that the subject matter experts were highly skilled and readily willing to share this knowledge, which was really important. I also got to meet and network with a lot of other people of African background who run their own businesses and that has created a network for us to access in the future. If anyone wants to apply to this program, I would highly recommend the Blue Nile Masterclass Program.
The program opened our eyes and equipped us with skills and information which we were able to implement as we learnt it, and which we continue to use. I realised through the course, that we should not limit ourselves as African entrepreneurs. The program opened its doors to many successful entrepreneurs who we were able to learn from. I also connected well with my mentor, and I am extremely happy with the program.
- Haileluel Gebre-selassie
Community Program Director
- Ben Neville
Academic Program Director
- Samuelson Appau
- Precious Rametsana
Community Program Director
Haileluel Gebre-selassie holds a Master of Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne and a Master of International Social Work from La Trobe University. He is the Program Manager of the African Leadership Development Program. He is a Winston Churchill Fellow and current Chair of the African Think Tank. He is also Chair of the African Communities Task Force established by Victoria Police and a recipient of the Member of the Order of Australia and Melbourne Award.
Academic Program Director
Associate Professor Ben Neville researches and teaches in the area of sustainable business in the Faculty of Business & Economics at the University of Melbourne. He is the Coordinator of Leadership for Social Impact at the Centre of Workplace Leadership.Find an Expert profile
Dr Samuelson Appau is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Melbourne Business School. He has a background in marketing and market research and holds a PhD in Marketing from the University of Melbourne. Samuelson also consults for start-ups and entrepreneurs on how to build and sustain strong brands.Find an Expert profile
Precious Rametsana is a recent Master of Management graduate of the Melbourne Business School and currently researches and teaches within the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne. Precious is also a current committee member of the Incubate Foundation and a former board member of the Africa Australia Chamber of Commerce.Find an Expert profile
Blue Nile Program Participants 2022
Atem James Mayen
Founder, Diversity Education Solutions
Founder, LND Property Investments
Founder, Endow Support and Consulting
Founder, JB Cricket Coaching
Founder, Oasis Pro Healthcare Services
Founder, The Reframe Project
Founder, Pola Practice
Founder, Technology Consulting
Founder and Entrepreneur
Founder, Savannah Fashions
Founder, Karys Health
Founder, Greatview Care
Blue Nile Program Participants 2021
Founder, Gabar Nool
Founder, SKJ Gold
Founder, Abi Hearing
Founder, Disability Home Nursing
Founder, Base Disability
Founder and Entrepreneur, Peter Bol
Louis Adjei Danso
Founder, Fintik Finance
Monica Aweng Deng
Pharmaceutical Entrepreneur and Manager
Founder, FoMu Design Lab
Founder, Emerging Brand Africa
Founder, Lemba Group
Founder, Builtup Solutions
Founder, Glowing Pavers
Founder, Moremotala Osteopathy
Founder, Simba Financial Services
Founder, Sheltering Arms
Founder, Below The Surface
Founder, Local Transit
Blue Nile Program Participants 2020
Matthew Kwame Adekponya
Content Creator and Media Specialist
Taidanyasha Mabel Chigogora
Behavioural Therapist and Entrepreneur
Director, Yanga Coffee
Co-founder of DivTal
Founder, Angie’s Kitchen
Managing Director, Gratitude In-Home Care
Owner and Managing Director, Ebenezer Group
Selba Gondoza Luka
Co-founder, Afri-Aus Care
Founder and Managing Director, SeniorsAlarm
Founder, Glory Architecture
Founder, Sela Care
Founder, Centre for Multicultural Program Evaluation
Founder and CEO, Africa Media Australia
Managing Director, iMove Solutions
Founder, Trefem Agency
Co-founder, African Female Founders Network
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the Blue Nile African Australian Business Masterclass Program please contact:
Dr Samuelson Appau
+61 406 816 081