Stanford Seed partners with entrepreneurs in Africa, India to catalyze economic growth
Stanford – Frank Omondi is a wildlife biologist turned entrepreneur. His desire to lead a business that makes a positive impact on the community led him to become the managing director of Ten Senses Africa, a fair trade cashew and macadamia nut processing company based in Nairobi, Kenya.
With a background in wildlife biology, Omondi realized he needed further training to help him continue to drive the company forward. That realization led him to join the Stanford Seed Transformation Programme in 2016.
Stanford Seed is a one-year certificate programme delivered by Stanford University through Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) that operates in East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, and India.
The programme, which is designed exclusively for busy business owners and CEOs, provides management training, one-on-one support, and networking opportunities to growth-minded business leaders.
The programme is now accepting applications from 15 June. A free, online information session will be held on Thursday, 30 May.
Following Omondi’s participation in the programme, Ten Senses Africa doubled its sales, now provides 1 million cashew seedlings to support 30,000 local farmers, and employs 600 people, two-thirds of whom are single mothers. The company was able to expand to Tanzania with the support of the Seed Transformation Network, a group composed of past participants in the programme.
“The programme created a lot of trust between the participants,” said Omondi. “It is difficult to know anyone in Tanzania if you are based in another African country. Through the programme, we were able to learn what other people were doing in those countries, which enabled us to have entry.”
Surveys of past participants of the Seed Transformation Programme reveal the impact participants and their organizations have on their communities. After completing the programme, 89% of participants grew their customers, 72% introduced a new product or service, 64% increased their revenue, and 50% expanded into new geographies,” he added.
“I’m inspired by the change participants are effecting in their communities,” said Darius Teter, executive director of Stanford Seed.
“One organization’s growth and success can have a significant impact, and we’re thrilled to partner with promising entrepreneurs as they take their businesses to the next level,” he added.
Participants work with Stanford GSB faculty to gain the essential business and leadership skills that will enable them to grow their companies and, in turn, positively impact their communities.
Admitted participants will be able to: Create an action plan to grow and scale their business; get in-company support from trained facilitators who help introduce what they’ve learned to their management team and promote buy-in; develop relationships with like-minded leaders to share experiences and develop an ongoing peer-to-peer support network; receive pro-bono project-based consulting services from senior executives.