Summer Course: Social Entrepreneurship in a South African Context

Explore social entrepreneurship during a dynamic academic summer course!

Join an exciting summer course that explores the current state of social entrepreneurship in South Africa! Based in the stunning and fascinating city of Cape Town, this course offers students unique ways of studying social entrepreneurship in the context of a developing country, while supporting aspiring South African entrepreneurs during a practical project. During this course, you’ll spend your time divided between lectures by local academics and experts, relevant field trips that will contextualise your learnings, and a practical partnership program. We’ll explore issues such as the development of entrepreneurship in recent South African history, the role of education systems in stimulating entrepreneurship, and advanced business models of social change. You will also be introduced to Xhosa during weekly language workshops.

To gain some unique insights into social entrepreneurship in Cape Town at a grassroots level, and to offer some support to people who might lack essential knowledge to succeed with their business, you will be teamed up with an aspiring entrepreneur from one of Cape Town’s townships; someone with a business idea and the drive to make it happen. Using your knowledge of the funding landscape, you will assist your partner in creating a strong pitch of his/her business plan, which could help secure the necessary funding. You will be assisted by your academic advisors and through regular group discussions.

This course is a unique opportunity to learn about South African culture and the country’s business landscape, to explore the need for and potential of social entrepreneurship in a developing country, and support potential local entrepreneurs with their business plan. Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by an academic advisor, and there is potential of getting course credits. All logistics will be taken care off too, so that you’ll be able to focus fully on getting the most out of this enriching experience.

We will ensure that you will:

  • Gain valuable knowledge of social entrepreneurship in general, but particularly in a South African historic and contemporary context
  • Learn about South African culture and learn basic Xhosa
  • Get to learn about social entrepreneurship in Cape Town at a grassroots level
  • Enjoy a healthy balance of theoretical and practical learning
  • Receive professional academic support and work towards valuable learning outcomes.
  • Experience some of the many travel highlights Cape Town has to offer


Quick Facts

  • Destination Cape Town, South Africa
  • Dates Dates to be announced
  • Academic Focus Social entrepreneurship in a South African context
  • Guidance Fully guided by local academics and field experts
  • Suitable for Any students interested in entrepreneurship
  • Price upon request

During this program, all lectures and workshops will be given by local academics and field experts. To ensure maximum professional development, you’ll be guided by an academic adviser along the way.

All logistics will be taken care off too, so that you can focus fully on getting the most out of the experience. This program is collaboration with African Impact, a well-established and award- winning facilitator of volunteer programs, academic courses, and service learning programs throughout Africa.

Portrait Cape Town

Entrepreneurship is a key element in curbing the high unemployment issue in South Africa, and the country has a growing culture of entrepreneurship. While economic activity in informal settlements in South Africa was generally discouraged by the authorities during the apartheid era, the development of small enterprises is now on the rise. Cape Town is a good example of this trend; the city has a culture of entrepreneurship, which is evident in the many small shops and business spread across most of the city’s areas. However, access to funding is still limited for many, and there is a need for government policies to further unlock productivity and lower barriers for small ventures to entry into the formal economy. With its turbulent recent history, its developing economy, and its multicultural character, Cape Town is a particularly interesting case study for social entrepreneurship.

The summer course will offer both theoretical and practical learning through a series of lectures, field trips, and practical service learning projects.

Lectures: You’ll enjoy a series of lectures, given by local professors and experts, which will cover the following main topics:

  • Social entrepreneurship in South African in a historic and contemporary sense
  • Social entrepreneurship in the context of a developing country
  • Social entrepreneurship: trends, developments, and policies
  • The role of education systems in entrepreneurship
  • Capital and financing of micro-enterprises
  • Business models for social change
  • The future of social enterprise

Field Trips: Through a range of field trips to historical sites, iconic landmarks, and NGOs, you’ll cement some of the theory-based learning. We’ll also look at a number of successful social enterprises in Cape Town as case studies.

Service Learning:  You’ll get some unique insights into the potential and limitations of social entrepreneurship through a practical program that will team students with local aspiring entrepreneurs. Using your new-found knowledge and resources that we’ll make available, you will work together with your partner in creating a quality business plan or pitch for his or her business idea. Not only will this add another dimension to your understanding of the business landscape in Cape Town, it will also assist your partner, who might not have access to the relevant resources to realise their business plan.

Cape Town is arguably one the most stunning cities in the world. Framed between oceans and mountains, it’s surrounded by incredible natural beauty, with Table Mountain, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, an absolute highlight. Cape Town is also a place of huge diversity, lively cultures, and a vibrant nightlife. Living here is dynamic and interesting, and weekends will give you a huge variety of exciting activities. You can, for instance, venture to the top of Table Mountain, visit the historic Robben Island, drive to the iconic Cape Point, or hang out on some of the many beaches. If you’re into food and design, you can also choose to visit some of the trendy markets for some culinary treats and locally designed goods. Moreover, once you venture outside of Cape Town, you’ll find gorgeous winelands and stunning National Parks that are well worth a good road trip. Weekends are time off, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore some of Cape Town’s many exciting offerings.

You’ll be staying in a comfortable house in a safe an vibrant area of Cape Town, a close distance from restaurants, museums, and many of the travel highlights the city has to offer. During the week, three meals will be cooked for you at the house. During the weekend, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Cape Town’s exciting culinary scene.

Cape Town night

This summer course is particularly suitable to students of economics, business studies, finance, and international development – but we are open to applications from students of other fields too.

If you are interested in joining, please send us your CV and let us know what motivates you to join the course, and what you are hoping to get out of it.

2019 dates to be announced

Course fee: USD 4,995 (2018)

Included in the fee:

  • Accommodation
  • Three meals per day Monday – Friday
  • Transfers from Cape Town airport
  • Support services and daily guidance
  • All lectures and talks
  • Academic support and guidance
  • Any administrative support to help you get credit with your home university

Not included in this fee:

  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals at weekends
  • Travel insurance


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