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Business Education: Biofuel for Social Enterprises

Posted By Guy Pfeffermann, Monday, March 28, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Guy PfeffermannSocial enterprises are key to innovation, which can improve people’s lives, whether they focus on the environment, on health, on education, community services, or other "social goods”. Generating new ideas is great, but it is only by building on these ideas so as to achieve scale and sustainability that they contribute to development. That is where business education can be a huge help. Luckily, an increasing number of local business schools in developing countries are offering highly relevant programs.

A few weeks ago I met Aida Kamau in Nairobi. A social entrepreneur, she is gearing up toproduce biofuel for cooking. The product is non-toxic and emits no smoke. It even kills bugs in the house. Oil seeds grown on arid land north of Mount Kenya, where nothing grew before, are the raw material. She decided to take the Owner Manager Program, a course tailored specifically for entrepreneurs, at Nairobi’s Strathmore Business School (SBS), a GBSN member.

Aida’s take: "The course was really useful. We learned the need to separate the business from yourself, so that it can run with and without you. That means establishing procedures. We learned how joining forces with investors Aida Kamauand other stakeholders leads to a better company, better products; how an experienced Board of Directors helps see what company’s future may look like. Another thing that stood out was the focus on personality – understanding myself and other people better, being able to see strengths and weaknesses, the employees’ potential and how we can develop it. Last but not least, I learned a lot about life/work balance. Most entrepreneurs, we were told, only live for business. SBS taught us that, but you can have a business and also a life, including time spent with family and friends, music, dance, hobbies - all the things you like to pursue.’

Dr. Edward Mungai, Dean of Strathmore Business School will take part in GBSN’s Annual Conference in Mexico City, June 20-22. I am sure many of the participants will be thrilled to discuss with him the best practices in entrepreneurship education.

Click here to register for the 2011 GBSN Conference






Guy Pfeffermann is the founder and CEO of the Global School Business Network.

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