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Entrepreneurship in Africa

Executive Education

AfricaLive! is a seven-week course that combines asynchronous materials, HBS case studies, live sessions, and a weekly, business plan development module that culminates in a final, pitch competition. Each week the course will cover a topic that is essential for entrepreneurs who seek to launch a business in Africa. Students will engage with asynchronous materials from other emerging market regions before turning to African case studies. Preparation for these case studies will include asynchronous readings of HBS materials, short videos, and small student group discussions. The week will culminate in two live, Saturday sessions that will feature case-based instruction, live protagonists, and student engagements. In addition, each Saturday session will end with a discussion of the week’s progressive, business plan development module. Students will submit their business plans in the final week of the course. All business plans will be peer reviewed and the course professors will select the best business plans that a jury of African business leaders and experts will judge in the course’s last, live session.

Course Sessions: Live and Asychronous

Course Topics

Student Small Groups

Students will engage with the course content for the synchronous materials in small groups for at least 90 minutes prior to the course’s Saturday live sessions. Each student will be pre-assigned to a discussion group, and this pre-assignment will be posted on the AfricaLive! website. Each group is responsible for self-organizing its discussion. Course faculty will provide assignment questions that will structure these discussions. The intent is to engage with the material – the asynchronous material for that week and the material for the upcoming live Saturday sessions – ahead of the live sessions.

Business Plan Module

While not a course requirement, all students are strongly encouraged to undertake the course’s business plan module that progresses from Week Two through Week Six. Towards the end of Week Four of the course, students participating in the business plan module will be paired with another student to review his/her/their business plan, provide feedback, and offer an assessment. In the course’s final week, students will again work in pairs to review business plans, provide feedback, and offer a final assessment. The processes for these pairings and assessments are described in Weeks Four and Seven of the syllabus.
All students participating in the business plan module will submit their final business plan by the middle of week Seven, and the course professors will choose five plans for the final, live pitch session in front of a jury of African business leaders and experts. For those students who have chosen not to submit a business plan, they will submit in Week Seven a 500-word reflection on how their approach to entrepreneurship in Africa was enhanced and/or changed as a result of the AfricaLive! course.