Windhoek-Aspiring young Namibian entrepreneurs are being asked to enroll for the Stanford Graduate School of Business for a year-long leadership programme called ‘Seed Transformation Programme.’
The programme is made possible by the De Beers Group, which has pumped N$39.5 million (US$3 million) into the three-year partnership with the Stanford Graduate School of Business, to specifically impart skills to people in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.
The programme will start in 2018 and be headquartered at the Botswana Innovation Hub, a Science and Technology Park in Gaborone.
“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,” said the statement from De Beers.
“The ultimate goal [of the programme is] to create and activate a detailed action plan to help you grow and scale your company. Throughout the year-long experience, you will work in small peer groups called leadership labs to share experiences, resources, ideas and support,” read the statement on Stanford Business website.
People encouraged to apply are those who are founders of their own businesses or who are senior leaders in such businesses, and who want to grow and scale their companies, thereby creating jobs, products, or services that benefit those living in poverty.
There is no limitation on what sector the company should be involved in, as long as the company has an annual revenue between US$150,000 and US$15 million (between N$1.98 million and N$197.5 million) and is headquartered, legally registered, and currently operating within the borders of Namibia, Botswana, or South Africa.
The programme will allow participants to “develop the skills, tools, and mindset to grow and scale business, create jobs, and lead your region to greater prosperity, and gain essential business and leadership skills, from strategy and finance to business ethics and design thinking, all taught by world-renowned Stanford faculty and local business practitioners”.
The participants would also be able to “take advantage of a world-class curriculum from Stanford GSB and the innovative thinking that has shaped some of the most successful companies in Silicon Valley”.
“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 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,” said Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group.