The Spring Global Social Entrepreneurship course (taught by Tony Sheldon) takes place each spring semester. Each year the students work with organizations in a different country. In recent years, the course has been rotating between Brazil, Indonesia, and Kenya.
Spring GSE links teams of Yale students with local social enterprises, channeling the skills of Yale students to assist the organizations to expand their reach and impact on “base of the pyramid” communities. Yale students partner with mission-driven social entrepreneurs (SEs) to focus on a specific management challenge that the student/SE teams work together to address during the semester. The course covers both theoretical and practical issues, including case studies and discussions on social enterprise, developing a theory of change and related social metrics, financing social businesses, the role of civil society, framing a consulting engagement, managing team dynamics, etc.
Previous Years’ Teams
The Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (“CiTi”) develops globally competitive tech and innovation clusters to empower local entrepreneurs and promote sustainable economic growth and employment across South Africa. They partnered with GSE to collect best practices on EdTech incubation from around the world to inform the launch of their EdTech Cluster.
Ikamva Youth is an educational social enterprise that empowers disadvantaged youth through peer-to-peer tutoring to pull themselves and each other out of poverty through access to tertiary education and/or employment training. They partnered with GSE to better understand how they can maintain the integrity of its democratic governance structure – giving voice to all employees – while enabling rapid and effective growth.
Praekelt uses open source technologies and partnerships to deliver essential information and services to over 100 million people in over 50 countries. Praekelt's flagship program is MomConnect, a partnership with the South African government that provides educational text messages to pregnant women. In order to enhance the sustainability of the program's funding, Praekelt partnered with GSE to research the landscape of potential revenue models and recommend strategies.
Team Affinity Bank
Affinity Africa Finance Limited aims to provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana with much needed long-term capital via loans. Alongside Affinity’s savings and loan arm, the organization is developing anon-profit training, business services, and advisory subsidiary called Affinity Institute. The GSE team has spent the past semester helping Affinity Institute identify the most critical skill-sets needed by SMEs in Ghana, as well as the most effective delivery methods, to help inform the Institute’s priority focus areas and potential business models.
MoringaConnect (MC) is a social enterprise that sources moringa seeds and leaves from smallholder farmers in Ghana to produce nutritious powder and high-value moringa oil to sell in Ghana and the U.S. Our project focuses on determining how MC can capture value from pressmeal, a byproduct of the oil-making process. Join us to learn how our team approached the problem and the conclusions we’ve come to as a result!
Ignitia has developed a highly accurate, reliable and GPS-specific weather forecast model for the tropics that empowers small scale farmers to make better decisions, farm more effectively, and increase yields. Since Ignitia is planning to grow to increase its subscriber base, the GSE team developed strategies to better understand their customers, identify new partners, and develop metrics to measure success.
The GW Foundation is a nonprofit training and supporting women from Cape Town townships to bring high-quality early childhood education to their communities through a franchise model. GW partnered with GSE to explore the financial viability of expanding their model from low-income to middle-income neighborhoods, with the intention of cross-subsidizing their low-income school operations.
Livity Africa works with the young people for the young people. They are into digital skills training of the African Youth through various programs/ platforms and they aim to harness and accelerate the ability of the youth to create their own sustainable livelihoods. Livity Africa partnered with GSE to evaluate and model out the metrics that should be tracked for Impact measurement of their Digify Bytes Program.
YWaste is a waste management and compost company, focused on helping South African residents reduce the amount of waste they generate, and transition towards a more circular economy. The company provides waste management, consulting, and composting services, and is also entering the compost sales market. They partnered with GSE to explore different scaling opportunities, and develop a detailed financial model to keep track of their current and future operations.
Team Growth Mosaic
Growth Mosaic is an accelerator of small and growing Ghanaian social enterprises. The company is seeking to address “the missing middle,” a need in the impact investing space for early stage capital in the range of $20-250K, when few investors are willing to invest less than $1M. Our GSE team is worked to identify the minimum requirements for a viable fund in the Ghanaian context and developing potential models for Growth Mosaic.
Team Impact Hub
Impact Hub Accra is an innovation and social entrepreneurship co-working center focused on supporting inclusive economic growth in Ghana through the creation of a resilient social innovation ecosystem, in which mission-minded start-ups work side by side. The GSE team focused on assessing the feasibility of a new innovation center to support healthcare startups as part of Impact Hubs’ program called “I Care 4 Africa.”
Team VOTO Mobile
VOTO Mobile is an organization that uses SMS and interactive voice recordings (IVR) to communicate with low-income Ghanaians on behalf of foreign aid NGOs and government agencies. As VOTO seeks to increase its impact, the GSE team worked with them to assess a range of industries across Ghana to determine where VOTO should expand its network and service offerings.