The Entrepreneurial Adventure of a Lifetime
Are you a student who is ready for a life-altering experience in a unique setting? Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa (EESA) offers such an opportunity for select students over a 6-week period.South Africa is both a “first-world” economy with a well-developed infrastructur and technologically advanced business environment as well as a “third-world” economy with a sizeable informal sector, undereducated and unskilled workers, and high levels of poverty. Today, the country faces the unique economic development challenge of attempting to correct past wrongs, while at the same time becoming globally competitive. It is in this context that entrepreneurship is absolutely crucial. Students enrolled in this award-winning and high-impact program travel to beautiful
Cape Town, South Africa, and work with emerging entrepreneurs based in the surrounding townships. These entrepreneurs have managed to overcome a history of apartheid, limited education, and severely constrained resources to create small enterprises. Their ventures range from catering and arts and crafts businesses to community newspapers and small manufacturing operations. Some of the ventures are unregistered, more are underfinanced and each has distinct needs and opportunities. The common trait among these business owners is a dream that their ventures will achieve sustainability and growth. Students are introduced to many practical approaches to helping entrepreneurs through an innovative seminar. They form consulting teams and each team works with two emerging enterprises. Consulting teams are expected to identify and prioritize the needs of the ventures and make meaningful progress in addressing those needs with tangible deliverables that can be implemented by the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur gains much from the team, but experience shows that the students gain even more from the entrepreneur. Courses Students must enroll in two 3 hour credit courses (graduate or undergraduate). Auditing is not an option for these courses. The EESA program is delivered at the University of the Western Cape campus in South Africa. Supporting Emerging Enterprises This hands-on course introduces students to the South African context, township entrepreneurship, the basics of the consulting process, and practical approaches to addressing managerial issues in emerging enterprises. Students are introduced to the SEE consulting model—a systematic approach to helping these types of ventures. Special modules deal with cultural understanding, funding, marketing, operations, accounting, human resources development, the political context and other economic development issues. These modules are specially tailored to reflect the township context, and students are exposed to a number of case studies written about entrepreneurs who have participated in the program in past years.