De Beers And Stanford To Empower Youth And Entrepreneurs In Southern AfricaAugust 20, 17
(IDEX Online) – De Beers Group has invested $3 million in a three-year partnership with Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) to empower young, aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
In partnership with De Beers, the Stanford GSB will launch two programs in 2018:
The Stanford Seed Transformation Program is a year-long leadership program, taught by Stanford GSB faculty and Seed-trained local facilitators. The program will provide management training, leadership team workshops and networking support to assist southern African leaders to grow their businesses, create jobs and help lead their regions to greater economic diversity and prosperity. The program will be open to established business owners in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Stanford Go-to-Market is an intensive, one-week entrepreneurship boot camp, taught by Stanford GSB faculty. Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and small-group discussions, it will help budding entrepreneurs gain the confidence and skills to commercialize their business ideas and accelerate their route to market. Initially running in Botswana, the program may expand to include participants from other southern African countries once fully established.
The partnership will be in collaboration with a range of government entities in Botswana, including the Botswana Innovation Hub and the Botswana Ministry of Tertiary Education.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers Group, said: “Economic diversification and youth employment opportunities are priorities for our government partners and are priorities for De Beers Group as well. We all believe these two programs, in partnership with a world-renowned educational institution, have excellent potential to help accelerate diversification and stimulate more opportunities for young and ambitious southern Africans.”
Dr Alfred Madigele, Minister of Tertiary Education for the Government of the Republic of Botswana, said: “We welcome the private sector’s support of developing programs that will enhance diversity and have a socio-economic impact for the youth. The Botswana Innovation Hub will be the government’s contribution providing a facility, infrastructure, operational and technical support. The impact that this initiative will have on the expansion and transformation of the economies, primarily focusing on mining, to technology, innovation, and the entrepreneurial economy is immeasurable.”
Jesper Sørensen, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Faculty Director of Stanford Seed, said: “As with our experiences in East and West Africa, we are coming to learn as much as we are to teach. If the business and job growth that follows matches what we are seeing in our other locations, I anticipate this will be a very impactful initiative.”
The programs will be headquartered at the Botswana Innovation Hub, a Science and Technology Park in Gaborone, Botswana.