Lecturer, Michael Morris conducts a yearly Entrepreneurship Empowerment in South Africa (EESA) Programme, in collaboration with a number of universities in the United States. This year (2018), the six-week blended learning programme includes 26/twenty-six students from institutions such as Texas A&M University, University of Florida and University of Colorado; and 22/twenty-two students from UWC.
“This is an intense program where our joint mission is to make a meaningful contribution to the ventures of historically disadvantaged South African entrepreneurs” (EESA, 2018).
The program aims to equip students with an understanding of the challenges and barriers small business owners face in the South African context. In addition, students will be equipped with practical skills in order to address these challenges, as they will be expected to engage in regular ‘consulting interventions’ with assigned entrepreneurs or small-business owners for the duration of the course. These consultations focus on advising the entrepreneurs or ‘clients’ with a business model in order to give them a competitive advantage and further create long-term value for the business.
All students are assigned into teams, enabling students to develop communication and teamwork skills; reinforce content by discussion and to create a community of practice. Each team is assigned 2 ‘clients’ who they will assist with further developing their business or enterprise. Hence, students will need to work together in order to develop creative solutions to problems and challenges faced by their assigned clients.
All students – engage with eTools within the iKamva platform. The CIECT team creates iKamva accounts for the American students to ensure access. Students are able to access and download multimedia resources, which have been structured according to weekly topics.
In addition, the lecturer and students have the opportunity for effective communication using asynchronous eTools, namely Discussion Forum and Announcements.