Kofi Appenteng, President of AAI, Gives Commencement Speech at IE Business School Graduation Ceremony

“My father made me understand that true entrepreneurs do not accept entrenched narratives as destiny but ask questions and challenge assumptions and start to imagine the opportunity to build new narratives. We live in a time when purpose-driven entrepreneurs will find abundant opportunity.”

-Kofi Appenteng, President/CEO Africa America Institute

On December 14th, 2018, President/CEO of the Africa-America Institute, Kofi Appenteng, gave the Commencement speech in Madrid, Spain at IE Business School’s graduation. Addressing 824 newly minted graduates, hailing from 88 different countries, Appenteng discussed the importance of 21st-century purpose-driven entrepreneurship and disrupting narratives.

“We are all here today because in 1973 a group of entrepreneurs, led by the inimitable Diego Alcazar, saw a gap in the market of business education in Spain and had the courage to create a business school focused on enabling young people to become transformative entrepreneurs,” said Appenteng. Initially called Instituto de Empresa, IE Business School expanded to five different schools and became a fully fledged university in 2008.

Appenteng also discussed the influence his father’s entrepreneurial journey had on his own endeavors. “My father saw problems as opportunities to create businesses that met societal needs. He built productive and agile companies that met their clients’ needs while also transforming their communities. In my career, I have tried to apply this entrepreneurial calculus to empower leaders from underserved communities to lead multibillion-dollar enterprises; to help educational institutions to listen to their students and use that knew knowledge to innovate; to help philanthropy embrace genuine humility and listen to their grantees.”

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