De Beers Group today announced a US$3 million investment in a three-year partnership with Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) to empower young, aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
In partnership with De Beers, the Stanford GSB will launch two programmes in 2018:
- Seed Transformation Program
- The Stanford Seed Transformation Program is a year-long leadership programme, taught by Stanford GSB faculty and Seed-trained local facilitators. 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. The programme will be open to established business owners in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
- Stanford Go-To-Market
- Stanford Go-To-Market is an intensive, one-week entrepreneurship boot camp, taught by Stanford GSB faculty. Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and small-group discussions, it will help budding entrepreneurs gain the confidence and skills to commercialise their business ideas and accelerate their route to market. Initially running in Botswana, the programme may expand to include participants from other southern African countries once fully established.
The partnership will be in collaboration with a range of Government entities in Botswana, including the Botswana Innovation Hub and the Botswana Ministry of Tertiary Education.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers Group, said: “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 two 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.”
Dr Alfred Madigele, Minister of Tertiary Education for the Government of the Republic of Botswana, said: “We welcome the private sector’s support of developing programmes that will enhance diversity and have a socio-economic impact for the youth. The Botswana Innovation Hub will be the government’s contribution providing a facility, infrastructure, operational and technical support. The impact that this initiative will have on the expansion and transformation of the economies, primarily focussing on mining, to technology, innovation, and the entrepreneurial economy is immeasurable.”
Jesper Sørensen, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Faculty Director of Stanford Seed, said: “We are excited to work with the young and established entrepreneurs in the Southern African region through this collaboration. As with our experiences in East and West Africa, we are coming to learn as much as we are to teach. If the business and job growth that follows matches what we are seeing in our other locations, I anticipate this will be a very impactful initiative.”
The programmes will be headquartered at the Botswana Innovation Hub, a Science and Technology Park in Gaborone, Botswana.
About De Beers Group
De Beers Group is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers Group is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers Group employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers Group are committed to ‘Building Forever’ by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers Group, visit www.debeersgroup.com.