Global Entrepreneurship

Brown University and the University of Cape Town Partner To Promote Business Capacity in Africa

March 5, 2008  |  Media Contact: Sarah Kidwell |  401-863-2476
Brown and the University of Cape Town have entered into a five-year partnership that will improve and deliver business education to entrepreneurs in Africa, particularly to women. The partnership is part of a larger international initiative led by Goldman Sachs to increase the number of underserved women receiving a business and management education.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Brown University today announced that it has joined a global initiative to improve the quality and capacity of business education in developing countries and emerging markets, particularly for women. The five-year partnership, called "10,000 Women," brings together universities and international development organizations in a program to administer business and entrepreneurship education to 10,000 women in underserved nations.

Brown's participation involves a partnership with the University of Cape Town in South Africa, which will develop technology entrepreneurship education in Africa. Led by Angus Kingon, University professor of entrepreneurship and organizational studies at Brown, the multiyear program will adapt existing best practices in technology entrepreneurship to an African context. Technology entrepreneurship refers to the capacity to create new businesses whose products and services are based on emerging technology or novel combinations of existing technology. These businesses are designed to grow, compete internationally, and lead to strong employment growth. Women, in particular, will be encouraged to participate.

The initiative will be led by New York investment bank Goldman Sachs. It will invest in a largely untapped yet significant resource - the exponential power of women as entrepreneurs and managers.

"This program allows two strong institutions to collaborate in advancing entrepreneurship education in Africa," said Kingon. "We can create a cadre of skilled African entrepreneurs who can create and manage technology-strong enterprises that can compete nationally and internationally, which is urgently needed."

The University's participation in this global business education initiative comes at a time when President Ruth J. Simmons has made internationalization a strategic priority for the University. Under Simmons' leadership, Brown has taken steps to ensure that students are well prepared for the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly interconnected world. This includes encouraging scholarship by international students and strengthening ties and research with educational institutions around the globe.

"Our world and our economy are increasingly global," said Simmons. "As an educational institution, we have a role in providing the benefits of our knowledge not just to our students at Brown, but to other areas of the world, specifically to those that are underserved."

Simmons is a member of the board of directors at Goldman Sachs. Other universities involved in the program include:

  •  American University of Afghanistan;
  • American University in Cairo;
  • Columbia Business School
;
  • Harvard Business School
;
  • Indian School of Business;
  • Pan-African University, Nigeria;
  • School of Finance and Banking, Rwanda;
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business;
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management;
  • United States International University, Kenya;
  • Judge Business School, University of Cambridge;
  • University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  • William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan;
  • Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

The 10,000 Women program brings together academic partners, development organizations and Goldman Sachs to support pragmatic, flexible and shorter term academic programs, resulting in business and management certificates that can open doors for thousands of women whose financial and practical circumstances prevent them from receiving a traditional business education. There will also be a select number of M.B.A. and B.A. degrees funded.

In addition to funding tuition for business and management education, 10,000 Women will work with development organizations to better understand the local challenges girls and young women must overcome so more of them can realize economic opportunity and achieve their full potential. Some of these partnerships will seek to establish mentoring and networking channels for women and encourage career development opportunities.

There will also be a strong focus on capacity building: developing curricula, creating local case study models and training the trainers to improve the level of faculty training and expertise as well as increasing the overall quality of business education.

More detailed information about 10,000 Women can be found at www.10000women.org

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.