Edited by Michael H. Morris
Chapter 28: Study abroad: Entrepreneurship Empowerment in South Africa
The Entrepreneurship Empowerment in South Africa (EESA) Program is a unique approach to experiential learning and study abroad. Led by the University of Florida, it involves a partnership among three other US universities (Oklahoma State, Texas A & M, Colorado University) and the University of the Western Cape (South Africa). The program combines original classroom pedagogy with a challenging experiential learning methodology. Launched in 1998, the objective is to attract highly motivated graduate and advanced undergraduate students to a rigorous program where they can make a difference, learn entrepreneurship by observing it in an adverse context, and grow as individuals. Students spend six weeks in structured engagements helping disadvantaged entrepreneurs make their ventures sustainable. Students register for six credit hours, ‘Entrepreneurship Empowerment in South Africa’, and ‘Entrepreneurship Field Experience’ at the University of Florida (but delivered in South Africa). The first of these is a classroom course consisting of fifteen modules exposing students to the township context, the nature of consulting, how to organize and structure the engagement, and insights into how to approach accounting, marketing, operations, financing, logistics, distribution, legal issues and management skills as each applies within these types of ventures. The field consulting experience finds students working in teams, with each team assigned to two clients. Consulting teams are closely mentored by the faculty. Transport is provided and teams meet with each client at least twice per week.
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