An MBA isn’t a badge, it’s a commitment – a commitment to work for better organisations, communities, nations and for a better life.
A unique learning initiative between South African NGOs, the Henley Business School in the UK and Henley Business School in South Africa has provided innovative business solutions for a range of Cape-based organisations. Karen Rutter reports:
This year (2011) will the see the sixth in a series of unique learning initiatives between South African NGOs and the Henley Business School at the University of Reading in the UK. Designed and implemented by the UK Henley faculty and by Jon Foster-Pedley, now dean and director of Henley Business School in South Africa, the programme links MBA students and Cape Town-based NGOs in a practical, collaborative partnership.
Each year, a group of 40-odd Henley MBA students tackle a range of needs-based business challenges posed by NGOs that work in a variety of fields, from housing to HIV/AIDS to education to providing children’s homes. NGOs that have participated in the project to date include the Tsiba Entrepreneurship Centre, NICRO, the Heart Foundation, James House, the Treatment Action Campaign, the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture, SHINE child literacy programme, St Georges School for girls and Habitat for Humanity, amongst others. Their business needs have ranged from strategic marketing and fund-raising campaigns to organisational development.
“The idea behind the programme is to promote learnerships that have a practical impact for good,” explains Foster-Pedley. “It’s about doing real work for real people, moving away from an academic ivory tower approach and challenging students to use their intelligence and creativity. It’s learning on a very profound level, one which involves both an ethical and spiritual edge.”
To date, more than 150 Henley MBA students have participated in the programme in South Africa, representing about 1200 days of free expert middle and senior management time. That’s about £1million worth of free executive consulting. It’s social engagement that shows imagination and global commitment. For full article click here.