Stanford Seed partners with De Beers Group in a $3m deal to expand its programs into Southern Africa

Stanford Graduate School of Business (Stanford GSB) has entered into a $3 million, three-year partnership with De Beers Group to expand its entrepreneurship programs into Southern Africa.

The Seed Transformation Program launched in West Africa in 2013 and expanded to East Africa in 2016 and will start later this month in India. The partnership with De Beers will see it launch Stanford Seed, its one-year program Seed Transformation Program and Stanford Go-to-Market, the one-week entrepreneurship bootcamp in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa in 2018.

“We are excited to work with the young and established entrepreneurs in the Southern African region. As with our experiences in East and West Africa, we are coming to learn as much as we are to teach,” said Jesper Sørensen, professor of organizational behavior at Stanford GSB and faculty director of Stanford Seed, a Stanford University initiative led by the Stanford GSB. “If the business and job growth that follows matches what we are seeing in our other locations, I anticipate this collaboration will be a very impactful initiative.”

The Seed Transformation Program covers topics such leadership, strategy, business ethics, accounting, marketing, and value chain innovations. The training is expected to enable business owners to lead their regions to greater prosperity through the growth of their companies and job creation. The program will be open to owners of established businesses in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Applications will be accepted 17 August through 6 October, 2017.

On the other hand, the Stanford Go-to-Market Program helps budding entrepreneurs gain the confidence and skills to commercialize their business ideas and accelerate their route to market. While Botswana will host the first Stanford Go-to-Market program in Africa, the bootcamp may expand to include participants from other Southern African countries once fully established. Applications for the Stanford Go-to-Market program in Botswana will be accepted this fall and the cohort will convene in March 2018.

Both the Seed Transformation Program and Stanford Go-to-Market program will be headquartered at the Botswana Innovation Hub, in Gaborone, Botswana.

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