Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) has announced a $3m‚ three-year partnership with De Beers Group to empower young‚ budding entrepreneurs and owners of established businesses in Botswana‚ Namibia‚ and SA through two educational programmes that will be launched in 2018.

Stanford said it is expanding two of its programmes to Southern Africa: the Seed Transformation Programme of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies‚ known as Stanford Seed; and the Stanford Go-to-Market programme for accelerating business ventures to market.

Stanford Seed is a one-year programme of sessions on topics including leadership‚ strategy‚ business ethics‚ accounting‚ marketing‚ and value chain innovations‚ the institution said in a statement. "Seed facilitators also work with participants in carefully constructed leadership peer groups‚ offering networking opportunities‚ resources‚ and ideas to help implement the participants’ transformation plans."

Applications are open to existing businesses and will be accepted from August 17 until October 6 2017.

The Go-to-Market programme is a one-week entrepreneurship "boot camp"‚ taught by Stanford GSB. "Through a combination of lectures‚ case studies‚ and small-group discussions‚ the programme helps budding entrepreneurs gain the confidence and skills to commercialise their business ideas and accelerate their route to market‚" the institution said.

Botswana will host the first programme in Africa‚ but the boot camp may expand to include participants from other Southern African countries once fully established. Chosen participants will convene in March 2018.

Both programmes will be headquartered at the Botswana Innovation Hub‚ a science and technology park in Gaborone‚ Botswana.

The initiative will be supported by a range of government entities in Botswana‚ including the hub itself‚ the Botswana ministry of tertiary education‚ and the ministry of youth empowerment‚ sport and culture development.

Located in Silicon Valley‚ Stanford said its notable breakthroughs include the first successful heart-lung transplant‚ the debut of the computer mouse‚ and the development of digital music.

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