What you'll learn

  • Identifying new entrepreneurial opportunities that generate African solutions to African problems
  •  Using a toolkit for understanding how to scale a venture in a capital or infrastructure-limited context
  • Thinking about business ventures in the HBS case method style
  • Developing a conceptual framework for evaluating important factors such as branding, social media, the role of government, and that of other critical stakeholders
  • Developing resilience in the business model, vital to sustainable success in Africa.

Course description

Africa has complex and unique business opportunities. This entrepreneurship course takes an interdisciplinary approach to building scalable businesses designed to solve core problems or fill institutional voids. Unlike other business courses, this one focuses on identifying points of opportunity for smart entrepreneurial efforts through “live” online lectures, peer-to-peer learning, and real-life lessons incorporated into your own business plan.

Taught by Harvard Business School Professors Tarun Khanna, Caroline Elkins, and Karim Lakhani, you will learn how Africa-specific trends impact the opportunities and challenges in undertaking entrepreneurship ventures on the continent. This course will examine the nuances that render Africa unique in today’s emerging market landscape, and the similarities that can be drawn from the world’s other fast-moving emerging economies. Developing your own business plan with peer-to-peer feedback is the capstone learning experience of this course.

The course will provide a series of time-tested lecture content and active reading assignments. Each week students will engage with course content and readings, and the week will end with a live webinar section that includes HBS faculty and leaders from the African business community. In addition, each student has the option to participate in the course’s week-by-week business plan development process. Business plan development will culminate with such students having an opportunity to submit a business plan. The best plans will be judged by a highly qualified African business jury. In so doing, the course will expose students to an unparalleled network of business academics at Harvard Business School, as well as Africa’s top business leaders.

Course content draws upon HBS cases and student tested and reviewed courses. They include the world-renowned Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets course that has reached over half a million learners in 200 countries, and HBS’s four-day intensive MBA course, Africa Rising: Understanding Business, Entrepreneurship, and the Complexities of a Continent.

Students who complete the course will get a verified certificate from HarvardX, Harvard University's online learning platform.

Instructors

  • Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School; Director of the South Asia Institute, Harvard University
  • Professor of History and Visiting Professor of Business Management, HBS Harvard University
  • Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University

Associated Schools

  • Harvard Business School

Enroll now.
Take course