Programs by Country: South Africa + Dialogue of Civilizations


SOUTH AFRICA: Social Entrepreneurship Field Research Program – CLOSED

Dialogue of Civilizations | Cape Town, South Africa

Faculty Leader: Dennis Shaughessy (d.shaughnessy@neu.edu) and Gordon Adomdza (g.adomdza@neu.edu)

Study Abroad Coordinator: Daisy Biddle (d.biddle@neu.edu)

Term: Summer II

Courses:

  • ENTR3306 Global Development Entrepreneurship
  • ENTR3308 Business Economic History of Modern South Africa

Description:

The Field Research Program in South Africa is a hands-on, field based research program which is focuses on social entrepreneurship in Cape Town, South Africa. Developed in 2008 by Professor Dennis Shaughnessy, this academically rigorous program will enable students to learn more about global development and how entrepreneurship can lift families out of poverty.

In Module 1, students will work directly with urban entrepreneurs from township communities to help grow their micro-businesses through the Entrepreneurs Consultation Project. Students will work in consulting teams with local students from the Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA), which is a free business degree program for low-income students from the townships. At the end of Module 1, student teams will present a deliverable on behalf of their entrepreneur; select teams are eligible to receive funding of up to $10,000 USD from the NU-TSiBA MicroVenture Fund to support their entrepreneur’s business. This portion of the program allows students to gain real life "consultation" experience and also provides students with an understanding of real life venture capital for business development, particularly in an emerging market country such as South Africa.

In Module 2, students will study with Professor Gordon Adomdza to learn about human centered design and social innovation for the base of the pyramid (BoP) market. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research and consult directly for high impact social enterprises and nonprofit organizations in the Cape Town area.

The academic portion of the program includes subject material such as social entrepreneurship, social enterprise development, micro-finance, impact investing, and small business management. Classes are supplemented with site visits to social businesses and enterprises in the surrounding Cape Town or Cape Flats area. Site visits also include guest lecturers from local social enterprises and businesses, visit(s) to Robben Island, Parliament and other historical/cultural sites. Students also attend guest lectures by South African historians, politicians, journalists, faculty, venture capitalists, doctors and researchers to engage students in discussion of topics relevant to South African history post-apartheid, and how the country’s controversial history has led to its modern day business climate.

Weekends include student led service learning projects and thoughtful community service. In this service learning exercise, students are encouraged to research which organizations they wish to support, and fundraise towards their project goal; this component of the program enables students to see impact of their own strategic social investing.

Weekends also include excursions, hiking trips, and an overnight safari.

Informational video about the South Africa Social Entrepreneurship Field Research Program