Stanford University initiative led by the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), Stanford Seed, has expanded into India after it first launched in West Africa in 2013 and subsequently expanded to East Africa in 2016.
With more than 500 business leaders trained with the goal of promoting prosperity in these regions, Seed Transformation Program applications in India open May 26 while and applications in East and West Africa are due June 30.
“The impact of Seed in West and East Africa has been astounding, with nearly two-thirds of participants reporting increased revenue and job creation,” said Jesper Sørensen, Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Professor of Organizational Behavior at the GSB and Executive Director of Seed. “We are five years into our journey, and just getting started. We believe – and have seen first-hand – that this unique model can help some of the most dynamic business leaders in these regions drive the kinds of firm growth that underlies sustainable regional prosperity. We are very eager to see its impact in India.”
Seed will be located in Chennai with a annual program set to run from August 2017 to August 2018 at the state-of-the-art Infosys corporate campus.
“India is the world’s second-most populous country, known for its entrepreneurial dynamism. We know from experience, however, that starting a company is different from making it grow, and that sustainable economic growth depends on firms solving the puzzle of scaling. The Seed Transformation Program leverages Stanford’s deep insights into the leadership of rapidly growing enterprises. We believe that by transforming leaders and companies through this program we can contribute to increased prosperity for the companies and, more importantly, their communities,” said Sørensen.
Seed is working with partners from across Stanford to empower business leaders to lead their regions to greater prosperity. Seed consists of three distinct yet complementary programs: the Seed Transformation Program, a yearlong, on-the-ground leadership program for the founders and leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises; Seed Student Programs, providing educational opportunities and summer internships at participating companies; and Seed Research, which provides funding for critical research to discover breakthrough solutions to promote prosperity throughout the developing world.
The Seed Transformation Program has trained and mentored 565 entrepreneurs and senior staff members, leading to increased revenue and new job creation throughout the region. In addition, participating companies have raised almost $11 million in funding and 79 percent have grown their customer base.
One such initiative is Gosolar Africa (SMEFUNDS), an international energy company that focuses on developing solutions for individuals with limited access to electricity. Founded by Femi Oye, who completed the Seed Transformation Program in 2014, the firm has received a $1 million investment from Acumen and sold more than 600,000 stoves and over 7 million liters of biofuel, impacting the lives of more than 3 million individuals.
In addition to Seed, Stanford GSB has a broad range of programs supporting its significant momentum throughout India and Africa as it reaches the world’s most promising entrepreneurs and transforms the global economy.
This year, Stanford GSB is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Africa MBA Fellowship and the 8th anniversary of the Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship, both of which provide assistance for international students with financial needs who wish to obtain an MBA at Stanford GSB. Stanford GSB also offers Stanford Ignite, a certificate program that teaches innovators to formulate, develop, and commercialize ideas and has programs around the world, including India.