Social Entrepreneurship Summer Course, Cape Town

Travel to South Africa’s incredible city of Cape Town and discover how local entrepreneurs are developing small businesses with a big social impact. From your base in the vibrant, artsy suburb of Observatory, you’ll acquire an intimate understanding and appreciation for development issues in South Africa as they relate to both the domestic and international market, and actively participate in the development of a local social enterprise. Your academic lead will guide your exposure to a myriad of business and social development experts through lectures, theory and practical introduction for a holistic understanding of the theme.

The vibrant city offers you a plethora of metropolitan and outdoor activities to enjoy in your free time. Climb Table Mountain, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, explore the local winelands and discover why Cape Town is known as the “friendly city”.

This 4-week course gives you a unique and comprehensive insight into the intricacies of entrepreneurial business development and its potential in the sphere of social investment. The course would be an ideal opportunity for students in the anthropological fields, and those with an interest in social enterprise. The course comprises 45 contact hours for a recommended 3 US course credits.


  • Benefit from an internationally acclaimed academic lead
  • Gain an intimate understanding of the relationship between business and social development in context
  • Develop a tailored business plan for a local social enterprise
  • Enjoy a variety of activities in your free time – many of which have positive social impacts

Quick Facts

  • Location Cape Town, South Africa
  • Recommended Credit 3 US Credits
  • Academic Focus Anthropology, Business Development, Social Development
  • Academic Prerequisites None

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Destination Description

The city of Cape Town is a vibrant cosmopolitan center nestled between the sparkling ocean and the towering Table Mountain. The city epitomizes South Africa as a rainbow nation, embracing its Cape Dutch history, French influence and celebrating its diverse African cultural heritage. The most popular tourist destination on the continent, Cape Town offers its visitors a diverse array of activities from mountain climbing and hiking in the local national parks to high-end shopping in the world-renowned Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Pristine beaches, gourmet restaurants and endless winelands ensure that a day in this city is always one to remember.

Learning Outcomes

The Social Entrepreneurship Summer Course presents you with a balance of theoretical and practical learning opportunities. Through a series of lectures with guest speakers and experts in the field as well as exposure to local businesses in various stages of development, your knowledge and practical abilities will be both challenged and advanced.

Get first-hand exposure to the realm of social enterprise and its intrinsic relationship between business and social development by assisting with developing a local entrepreneur’s business.

As a result of these processes, you can expect the following learning outcomes:

  • Develop communication skills by learning one of South Africa’s 11 official languages, and gain an appreciation of the challenges in a multi-linguistic market
  • Understand the challenges that social entrepreneurship faces in a neo-liberal economy
  • Explore the concept of “Ubuntu” and how it influences motivations for the social enterprise business model
  • Learn to identify the elements that constitute a successful social enterprise

Service Impact

Cape Town provides an ideal platform for the study of social entrepreneurship; being characterized by high levels of unemployment, a lack of skills development opportunities and a market which has the potential to be socially conscious. Through the course, you will have the opportunity to use your new-found knowledge and skills to promote social entrepreneurship. You will work alongside a budding local entrepreneur to develop a comprehensive business plan.

  • WEEK 1

    Your first week will comprise an in-depth orientation where you will be introduced to the overarching themes of the course, familiarize yourself with the course schedule and set expectations. You will be exposed to the challenges that social entrepreneurship faces, as well as one of South Africa’s 11 official languages for a broad understanding of the subject in context.

    Practical examples and your first group reflection will leave you with a sound understanding of the subject matter and concepts to be explored by the end of your first week.

  • WEEK 2

    Your second week will be characterized by deeper study into the areas outlined in your first week. This will be facilitated by methods workshops, guest lectures, structured field trips and  further reflections. You will meet your entrepreneur and undertake a needs and assets analysis, with support from your academic lead.

    This week will prepare you for the practical implementations to be completed in week 3.

  • WEEK 3:

    In your third week, you will design a proposed business plan using the skills developed in your methods workshops. Peer review and individual consultation with your academic lead will give you a deeper understanding of the concepts and processes, and allow for effective refining.

    A guided reflection at the end of the week will help you analyze your methods.

  • WEEK 4:

    Your course culminates in the presentation of your business plan to your entrepreneur, as well as a discussion of your process and observations.

    During the course of this week, you will have further opportunity to consult with your academic lead.

Available February to November

  • Participants will be collected from the airport upon arrival and transferred to base
  • Accommodation on base will be simple, but comfortable shared rooms with communal ablutions
  • All meals for the duration of the project, with the exception of free days will be provided
  • Any transport required for program activities will be provided
  • Participants will be transferred back to the airport for their departure