Courses: 2014-15

Entrepreneurship in Africa
Taught by Professor Jacob Olupona (Department of African and African American Studies, Faculty of Arts & Sciences)

The Entrepreneurship in Africa (EIA) course, AAAS 212 is designed for students who have a passion for development in Africa. The goal of the course is to inspire and equip potential (social) entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills necessary for driving economic and social development in Africa. Students will examine challenges and innovation in various spheres, dialogue on solutions and identify viable routes to leapfrog change on the continent. The course will expose students to the important role of leadership and how entrepreneurs can leverage their ideas to create policy-level change. The course is designed to run as a seminar course, featuring faculty from across and beyond Harvard. A distinctive feature of the AAAS 212 course is the sessions with successful entrepreneurs from Africa who will come in to share practical experience, interact with students and reinforce learning. Students will form teams to develop a project or business plan that address enterprise and development needs. The course is open for cross-registration to all Harvard graduate students, limited by capacity to college students. 

Educational Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in Comparative Perspective
Taught by Professor Fernando Reimers (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

This course is for students who are interested in gaining a better understanding of how social entrepreneurs can generate sustainable educational innovations. Over the course of the semester, participants will develop a viable education venture, preparing them to launch their own social enterprise to improve educational opportunity. The course will be taught at the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab) and will involve a series of activities and experiential workshops focused on the fundamentals of creating an educational enterprise. Readings, discussions, and related activities examine the contributions of social entrepreneurs to expanding educational opportunity. Students will engage in biweekly conversations with guest mentors, all of whom are education entrepreneurs working domestically or internationally. Weekly discussion sections will include workshops to build targeted skill sets.


Courses: 2013-14

Improving Protections for Urban Renters in the Global South Urbanization and International Development seminar (MUP, MAUD, MDes)
Taught by Associate Michael Hooper (Graduate School of Design)

The policy brief was written as a component of the Urbanization and International Development course offered Spring 2014.  The paper addresses the need to better protect renters from the adverse impacts of rapid urbanization in the Global South.  It responds to the fact that urban renters, despite the challenges they face, have long been overlooked by policy-makers and planners.  The brief begins by unpacking the heterogeneity of renters as well as the nuanced and highly context-specific relationships that exist between diverse groups of renters and landlords.  It then enumerates some of the primary challenges that renters face, including: weak contractual rights, perceptions of transience, substandard housing, frequent evictions, weak enforcement of protections, and limited mobilization.  The brief aims to inform the ways in which policies can be tailored to better address the needs of this vulnerable group.  The brief concludes with a series of guiding principles and organizational, procedural, legal, and physical strategies to protect and empower rentals in the Global South. Excerpts from the brief were included in the September 2014 edition of the International Union of Tenants’ quarterly magazine, the Global Tenant.


Harvard Summer School – Kisumu, Kenya: Innovating for health transformation in Africa
Students in the Harvard Summer Program in Kisumu, Kenya, explore diverse approaches for using innovations and technologies to foster transformative and sustainable healthcare improvements in Africa. Closely mentored student teams design, develop, and test their own innovations.
ES 20 Idea Translation Lab
A unique experience for ES20 students, the Idea Translation Fellowships program provides students with opportunities to further advance and prototype their ideas developed as teams during the course through fellowship experiences abroad. Annually, nearly 100 students from Idea Translation and ArtScience Prize programs around the world attend a week-long workshop at ArtScience center Le Laboratoire in Paris, France to work with designers and experts that help them move their project ideas forward. ES20 students gain access to the further opportunity to prototype their ideas as teams during a month-long fellowship with partners in Cape Town, South Africa. This fellowship opportunity is made possible by generous contributions from lead sponsor the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI). The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the Experiment Fund , and ArtScience Labs also provide funding and program support.
Harvard Global Health Initiative Summer Internships & Research Placements
The Young Leaders for Global Health summer program provides students interested in health challenges the opportunity to conduct research, shadow practitioners, and experience global health projects in the field. Current projects taking place in Africa are:

  • Mbarara University of Science and Technology Health Systems, Uganda, led by David Bangsberg
  • Harvard AIDS Initiative, led by Max Essex
  • Botswana-Harvard AIDS Initiative Partnership, Botswana, led by Max Essex
  • FXB Center for Health and Human Rights Research Program on Children and Global Adversity, Rwanda, led by Theresa Betancourt
  • Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania, led by Wafaie Fawzi
  • University of Rwanda College of Medicine and Health Sciences; Bangsberg and Zanoni sites, Rwanda/Uganda/South Africa, led by Brittany Seymour
  • University of Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal, led by Dyann Wirth
  • Don McKenzie Hospital, South Africa, led by Brian Zanoni

Full program information is available here

Harvard Business School FIELD 2 Global Immersion Program
 HBS students have traditionally been immersed in a case-study method that has encouraged them to think like leaders. As a part of the school’s recent curriculum innovation, Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD) gives students meaningful opportunities to act like leaders, translating their ideas into practice. FIELD is a required first-year course that spans a full academic year, divided into three parts: leadership intelligence (FIELD 1), global intelligence (FIELD 2), and integrative intelligence (FIELD 3).

The primary component of FIELD 2 is the Global Immersion, in which students work in small teams and are required to apply the tools of design thinking – customer observation, brainstorming, and prototyping – to develop new products and services for Global Partner companies located in emerging markets. The culmination of the module comes in the January Global Immersion, when students travel to each market and work over a period of eight days to complete their projects and present their conclusions to their Global Partner.

HBS FIELD Global Partners in Africa 2014-15 (22 partners)


  • Alliances Developpement Immobilier
  • Group Cosumar
  • Groupe AKSAL
  • Inwi
  • Kilimanjaro Environment
  • MasterCard
  • Medi1 TV
  • Microsoft
  • Mobiblanc
  • Procter & Gamble, North West Africa
  • Vivo Energy Maroc
  • Wafacash

South Africa

  • com
  • Amka Products (Pty) Ltd.
  • BGR
  • Braeside Butchery
  • Cube Tasting Kitchen
  • Invictus Sports
  • Joburg Ballet
  • Standard Bank Group Limited