Entrepreneurship in Africa

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2015

This course is designed to help students develop an understanding of the socio-economic revolution in the emerging African market. The goal will be to inspire and equip budding social entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills specific to context, challenges and innovation in enterprises that advance the continent with strong social impact. Designed as a seminar course, and team taught by faculty from across the Harvard schools, each session will focus on a theme - Agriculture & Food, Energy, Healthcare and Education - that affect development across the African Continent. The course will explore the unique challenges and opportunities of launching and growing an enterprise in the African context. Students will examine conditions in North, West, East, Central and Southern Africa and study how the current environments - political, social, technological and economic - can impact entrepreneurs' approach to growth, scalability and partnerships as they launch new businesses or social ventures. The course will explore questions such as how social entrepreneurship theory manifests in practice, how Africa's challenges are identified and solutions developed, the evolving role of leadership, ethics, governments, and social sector development in Africa and how entrepreneurs can leverage their ideas to create systems and policy level social change in Africa. The course will meet weekly including a 1-hour weekly group section focused on a final project. Students will work in teams to produce a final project business plan for a social enterprise or a strategy paper that addresses a business and development need specific to a region in Africa. The course will be open for cross-registration to all Harvard graduate students, limited by capacity to undergraduate students.