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De Beers, Stanford Business School partner to empower youth and entrepreneurs

De Beers, Stanford Business School partner to empower youth and entrepreneurs

In efforts to create jobs, diversify economies and increase regional prosperity, mining giant, De Beers Group announced a US$3 million investment in a three-year partnership with Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

The investment is set to empower young, aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners in Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa.

Through the joint partnership, two programmes namely the Seed Transformation Programme and the Stanford Go-To-Market will be launched in 2018.

According to the mining group, the Stanford Seed Transformation Programme is a year-long leadership programme, taught by Stanford GSB faculty and Seed-trained local facilitators.

The programme will provide management training, leadership team workshops and networking support to assist southern African leaders to grow their businesses, create jobs and help lead their regions to greater economic diversity and prosperity. The programme will be open to established business owners in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

Meanwhile, the second one, the Stanford Go-To-Market, is an intensive, one-week entrepreneurship boot camp, taught by Stanford GSB faculty. Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and small-group discussions, it will help budding entrepreneurs gain the confidence and skills to commercialise their business ideas and accelerate their route to market.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers Group, said, “Economic diversification and youth employment opportunities are priorities for our government partners and are priorities for De Beers Group as well. We all believe these two programmes, in partnership with a world-renowned educational institution, have excellent potential to help accelerate diversification and stimulate more opportunities for young and ambitious southern Africans.”

Jesper Sørensen, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Faculty Director of Stanford Seed, said, “We are excited to work with the young and established entrepreneurs in the Southern African region through this collaboration. As with our experiences in East and West Africa, we are coming to learn as much as we are to teach. If the business and job growth that follows matches what we are seeing in our other locations, I anticipate this will be a very impactful initiative.”

The programmes will be headquartered at the Botswana Innovation Hub, a Science and Technology Park in Gaborone, Botswana.

Caption; Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers Group

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