Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa
Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa is a life-changing experience, where students help historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs in the townships around beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. This special program is open to upper level undergraduate and graduate students regardless of major. Key requirements are a strong work ethic, emotional maturity, creative problem-solving ability and a desire to make a difference. Coached by three faculty members, OSU students work with South African students on consulting teams assisting small businesses over six weeks to help make the ventures sustainable. Their ventures range from catering and arts and crafts businesses to community newspapers and small construction companies. A great experience to add to your résumé, as well as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
- Enrollment Packets
- Supplemental Application
- EESA Brochure
- Read about the Texas A&M experience with EESA
(6 credit hours)
EEE 4603/5603 Supporting Emerging Enterprise
EEE 4610/5610 Entrepreneurship Field Experience
OSU will assist in organizing your air travel but it is your responsibility to purchase your own ticket. Airfare is estimated at $1,200. A deposit of $400 will be charged to your bursar account at time of enrollment; the balance will be billed to your account on April 15, 2013. Fee includes several group meals, lodging accomadations, in country transporation and supplies.
Housing begins: June 8, 2013
Program begins: June 9, 2013
Program ends: July 19, 2013
Housing ends: July 20, 2013
Application deadline: March 1, 2013
EESA is a partnership between Oklahoma State University, the University of Colorado, Texas A&M University, and the University of the Western Cape.
“I hope you’re well. I have watched all the new developments and excitement about EESA, 2012 EESA will be a great one. The program transformed my life and my way of thinking, I will like to thank you for that.”
- Berlin Herve, EESA 2011, UWC
“Just wanted to submit a sincere thank you for putting together EESA. I can assuredly say that it was a life changing experience for me. It wasn’t really about the experience of seeing and enjoying South Africa; although that was a nice icing on the cake. I got hit with 100% certainty that my future lies in the entrepreneurial realm and I absolutely cannot sacrifice my potential to the corporate gods. I studied those entrepreneurs and tried to find what it was that made them wake up each day and continually push to build their business. There was little skill at times, virtually no resources, and mountains of challenges at each step; yet these individuals still persevered to achieve. They wake up each day and refuse to let all of those issues squash their dreams. How could one not be inspired by that? I loved the program and all that it will do for me in my career.”
- Justin Boeker, Texas A&M, EESA 2011
This special program is open to undergraduate students and graduate students regardless of major. It is not limited to business majors, and so those studying sociology, engineering, information studies, architecture, economics, political science, government, social work, and other fields are welcome. The key requirements are a strong work ethic, emotional maturity, creative problem-solving ability and a desire to make a difference.
The program is a life-changing experience, where students help and learn from historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs in the Black townships near Cape Town, South Africa. Students form consulting teams work with small businesses over six weeks to help make the ventures sustainable. They work closely with entrepreneurs based in the townships. These special individuals 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 & crafts business to community newspapers and small manufacturing operations.
The student consulting teams are expected to identify and prioritize the key needs of the entrepreneur, and make meaningful progress in addressing some of the priority needs. The focus is less on analysis and more on producing tangible deliverables that the entrepreneur can use. Students develop marketing and financial plans, create bookkeeping systems, improve operations, renegotiate contracts, and much, much more. While gaining practical experiences, students perform an important service in the townships. The University of the Western Cape will host the program.
Students must enroll in both of the courses below, which are taken in parallel. One is a classroom-based course and the other involves field work where you work with entrepreneurs.
Supporting Emerging Enterprises
(3 credits, graduate or undergraduate)
This course introduces students to the South African context, township entrepreneurship, the basics of the consulting process, the SEE consulting model, and creative yet practical approaches to addressing managerial issues in emerging enterprises. It is offered at the University of the Western Cape campus.
Entrepreneurship Field Experience
(3 credits, graduate or undergraduate)
This course provides interaction with township entrepreneurs over six weeks as part of structured consulting engagements.
The consulting engagements start at the same time as the class meetings. Teams of three to four students are assigned to work on two projects each. Team members must develop a relationship with the entrepreneur, establish trust, learn as much as possible about the entrepreneur and his/her venture, determine priorities, select tasks that can be accomplished within the time of the consulting engagement, perform the necessary research and analysis on possible solutions to these tasks, and design detailed solutions and related action plans. There is heavy interaction and mentoring of the teams by the three faculty members involved in the program. A final consulting project report summarizes the teams’ assessment of each venture and the set of deliverables produced for the clients. Students must also maintain journals of their experiences. Click here to see an example a student’s journal. This student created a blog as his journal during the 2006 trip, and he still continues to post comments and articles relating to his areas of interest. This demonstrates that students’ experiences in South Africa do not necessarily have to end with the program.
Student Eligibility & Requirements
The program is only open to graduate and upper level undergraduate students with a 3.0 grade point average or better. A background in business administration is not required, and students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Several of the projects have components that would be appropriate for students with backgrounds in social work, sustainable development, economics, sociology, advertizing, communications, journalism, information technology, architecture, international relations and African studies. The key requirements are personal maturity and responsibility, a high energy level and enjoyment of hard work, a willingness to learn, and a desire to make a difference. Only 15 students can be accommodated in the program and students interested in participating are encouraged to submit their applications early.
Fees and Costs
|Due on April 15, 2013||$3,775|
|Due on April 15, 2013||$3,775|
The fee covers the cost of six credit hours, all course materials, accommodation for the six weeks the student is in South Africa, all transport once the student has arrived in South Africa, and four outings to interests spots around the Cape Town area. The student pays for his/her own airfare and meal costs. Meal costs are quite inexpensive in South Africa.
The Application Process
The registration form, application form, and essay are available from this site just by clicking on the icons. They should be submitted to the OSU Center for Executive and Professional Development in Suite 215, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 75078. The student essay should focus on motivations for wanting to participate, evidence of work ethic and problem-solving skills, and the special capabilities, knowledge, skills or background that the student brings to the program.
Travel and Living
Students arrange and pay for their own round-trip transatlantic transportation to Cape Town. Students should arrive in Cape Town by Saturday, June 8, 2013 and plan to depart on July 20, 2013 –although many previous participants recommend staying an extra week to travel in South Africa and/or Southern Africa. Transport from the Cape Town International Airport to the University of the Western Cape will be arranged for you.
While the program is fairly intense and involves a lot of hard work, outings will also be arranged to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned), Cape Point, Table Mountain, and a tour of the wine country. Students also frequently organize additional outings in groups.
Housing will be arranged by the Entrepreneurship Department in University residence halls or a communal house.
Three faculty members coordinate the program, present the courses, and coach the consulting teams. They are augmented by a number of outstanding subject matter experts from South Africa. The faculty members include:
Dr. Michael Morris
Professor and N. Malone Mitchell Chair in Entrepreneurship
School of Entrepreneurship
Spears School of Business
Oklahoma State University
Michael Morris holds the N. Malone Mitchell Chair in Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University . He founded the EESA program in 1997 at the University of Cape Town. Formerly the Witting Chair at Syracuse University, his entrepreneurship programs have consistently been ranked among the top ten by US News and World Report, Fortune Small Business, and the Princeton Review/ Entrepreneur Magazine. A widely published author and researcher, Dr. Morris has written six books and over 100 peer-reviewed academic articles in the Journal of Business Venturing, the Journal of Management, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of International Business Studies, and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, among others. He is the co-editor of the Entrepreneurship Series published by Prentice-Hall. Morris is currently President of the United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship and has served as Chair of the American Marketing Association’s Task Force on Marketing and Entrepreneurship and as editor of the Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship. In addition, he has been a principal in three entrepreneurial start-ups. Twice honored by Pi Sigma Epsilon as national Faculty Advisor of the Year, Dr. Morris has received Edwin M. and Gloria W. Appel Prize for contributions to the field of entrepreneurship, and is a recipient of the regional Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He is a former Fulbright Scholar (South Africa, 1993) and has been inducted as a “21st Century Entrepreneurship Research Fellow” by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.
Professor Erick Mueller
Entrepreneurship Scholar in Residence
Deming Center for Entrepreneurship
Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder
Mueller is the Entrepreneurship Scholar in Residence at the Leeds Business School at the University of Colorado. He was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI as one of 12 children. He attended college at The University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, earning a BBA degree and has an MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Erick started his career with DOT First Aid & Safety where he was promoted from a student intern to Vice President. He helped the organization grow from $2.2 million in annual sales to over $5 million in two years. He has founded four companies, enjoying the ride and successfully selling one. One company was a flaming failure, of which countless lessons were learned. He founded Vision, Co, a corporate training and consulting organization. He then was Vice President of Sales for Achieve.com, an interactive educational web service. He created the new selling process and led it from 0 customers to over 10,000. In 2002, he co-founded and was Vice President Marketing & Sales for Real Measure, a computer-based instrumentation business. Erick next co-founded EyeThink Corporation and is currently co-founder and Vice President Marketing & Sales for Funovation, a company that sells laser maze ventures around the world In addition, he is a clinical professor in entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado where he’s been recognized as the highest rated Professor in the College. In 2006, he served an appointment as Entrepreneur in Residence at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
Professor Craig Watters
Thoma Family Distinguished Clinical Professor in Entrepreneurship
School of Entrepreneurship
Spears School of Business
Oklahoma State University
Craig Watters joins the School of Entrepreneurship as the Carl Thoma Distinguished Clinical Professor in Entrepreneurship, beginning Fall 2011. Craig is an accomplished scholar, educator, entrepreneur, manager, and economic developer. He comes to OSU from the top-ranked entrepreneurship program at Syracuse University, where he has led of portfolio of educational and community engagement initiatives. He has worked with faculty across an array of disciplines on curriculum development and outreach programs related to creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Craig helped conceptualize and launch the highly successful South Side Entrepreneurial Connect Project, which has contributed to the transformation of an economically-challenged inner city community. He has served as assistant dean for advancement in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse, and director of its economic stimulus center, the I-Launch Pad. His research and community work led to his nomination for an economic development award from Senator Hillary Clinton in 2003 and travel to Ireland as part of Clinton’s trade mission in 2002.
A former manager at General Electric and the Syracuse Research Corporation, Craig has extensive experience in project management and contracts administration. In addition to his corporate experience, Craig has launched two successful ventures. His recent publications include “Inner City Engagement and the University: Interaction, Emergence & Transformation,” Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, (2011). Craig holds bachelor’s, master’s of science and Ph.D. degrees from Syracuse University. His dissertation examined the impact of infrastructure on economic development in rural areas.
Dr. Rubin Pillay
PhD, MD, MBA, MSc, BScHon(Pharm)
Daniel White Jordan Clinical Professor
Director, Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Academy
School of Entrepreneurship , Spears School of Business
Rubin Pillay is the Daniel White Jordan Clinical Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Academy at the School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business. He is a family physician with a post graduate qualification in Clinical Pharmacology. He also holds a PhD (Bus. Adm) MBA and MSc (Health management). Prior to taking up his current position, he headed up programs in Health Leadership at the McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government (Pa, USA) and the School of Business and Finance (Cape Town, South Africa). He has extensive international teaching and consulting experience and has published widely in the field of Strategic Health leadership. His current interests are in Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship with a particular focus on the health sector.
Life in Cape Town
With its stunning location, tucked into the arms of a broad bay, surrounded by wild, white-sand beaches and set against the canvas of Table Mountain, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Affectionately nicknamed the Mother City, it is the capital of South Africa’s Western Cape Province and the seat of South Africa’s parliament.
Originally home to the nomadic Khoi people for at least 30,000 years, the Cape Peninsula was first settled, on 6 April 1652, by Dutch sailors led by Jan van Riebeek of the Dutch East India Company. Portuguese explorer Bartholemew Diaz had already discovered the Cape in 1488 and christened it Cabo Tormentoso (Cape of Storms), but Portugal’s King John II later renamed it ‘Cape of Good Hope’ in reference to the opening of the sea route to India and the east via southern Africa. In 1795, it became a British colony, when the British Empire extended its borders. The city has been the first port of call for many a European settler, entrepreneur and religious refugee, as well as for Indian, Madagascan and South-East Asian slaves. All these people interspersed with the local Khoi and Xhosa population and the city became a melting pot of cultures, religions, styles and flavors. Nowadays, traders from other African countries (such as Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Nigeria) also favor Cape Town, particularly because there are so many tourists there. The city has a reputation for being the least xenophobic and most welcoming city in South Africa, with a strong diversity and open-minded benevolence. Capetonians are proud of their easygoing and laid-back nature, jokingly known as the ‘Cape coma’, so different from their more frenetic counterparts in the north.
On the streets, a great variety of languages are spoken, while stalls selling all manner of crafts, food and textiles are squashed among American-style malls, European fashion boutiques, art galleries, luxury hotels, backpacker lodges and the ubiquitous chain stores. In summer, it’s difficult to escape the glitz of the international media. Film crews, fashion shoots, music videos and commercials, are lured to the city by great foreign exchange rates, exotic locations, a world-class infrastructure and seemingly endless supply of drop-dead gorgeous models and extras.
Although Cape Town is undeniably on the up and up, it is still surrounded by the ever-visible legacy of apartheid. The first glimpse of the city coming from the airport is of shanty towns or ‘townships’ that ring False Bay; a hangover from the days of the notorious Group Areas Act, which reserved the prime land in the middle of the city for whites only. At the foot of Table Mountain, the area known as District Six (once populated by the local mixed-race community known as ‘Cape coloreds’), now renamed Zonnebloem, was razed to the ground in the 1960s and its residents were forcibly removed to the bleak and windswept Cape Flats, which has become notorious as the gangland of disaffected Cape Town youth. District Six is somewhat of a ghost town, although housing development is being planned. Even today, relatively few non-whites live in the more upmarket suburbs, although some of the former townships are gradually turning into middle-class estates, and construction of large areas of low cost housing is underway as the economic situation improves.
Nevertheless, natural beauty spreads out from Cape Town. To the south, the impeccable beaches of the Cape Peninsula are fringed with pretty towns and mansions ending in the southern reaches of the beautiful Table Mountain National Park (formerly the Cape Point nature reserve). To the east lies the mysterious magnificence of the Overberg, where there are rolling plains, deserted beaches and the lofty mountains of the Southern Cape. To the north and northwest, the misty and severe splendor of the West Coast, the austere wilderness of the Cedarberg and the verdant valley of Ceres await the traveller.
Many visitors think that Cape Town is best during the peak summer months (December to February) but it is attractive all year round. Summer brings long, hot beach days and balmy outdoor evenings, but they could also be described as sweltering and overcrowded and there is the chance of the legendary strong ‘southeaster’ wind. Spring (September to November) brings blooms of flowers, while autumn (March to May) promises a golden haze of warm days. Winter (June to August), although wet and often cold, is interspersed with weeks that are both warm and clear. The city is free of tourists and wonderfully green; dolphins and whales stop in the many small bays along the coastline, and the most spectacular sight of this ‘secret season’ – the waterfalls streak silver paths down the mountains.
University of the Western Cape
The University of the Western Cape is a national university, alert to its African and international context as it strives to be a place of quality, a place to grow. It is committed to excellence in teaching, learning and research, to nurturing the cultural diversity of South Africa, and to responding in critical and creative ways to the needs of a society in transition. Drawing on its proud experience in the liberation struggle, the university is aware of a distinctive academic role in helping build an equitable and dynamic society. In particular it aims to:
- advance and protect the independence of the academic enterprise.
- design curricular and research programmes appropriate to its southern African context.
- further global perspectives among its staff and students, thereby strengthening intellectual life and contributing to South Africa’s reintegration in the world community.
- assist educationally disadvantaged students gain access to higher education and succeed in their studies.
- nurture and use the abilities of all in the university community.
- develop effective structures and conventions of governance, which are democratic, transparent and accountable.
- seek racial and gender equality and contribute to helping the historically marginalised participate fully in the life of the nation.
- encourage and provide opportunities for lifelong learning through programmes and courses.
- help conserve and explore the environmental and cultural resources of the southern African region, and to encourage a wide awareness of these resources in the community.
- co-operate fully with other stakeholders to develop an excellent, and therefore transformed, higher education system.
Useful Websites for Traveling in South Africa
- Complete information and booking guide for Cape Town
- Car Rental site for the whole of South Africa
- Search engine for anything and everything in South Africa
- Another good travel site
- Africa’s leading business, travel and tourism website