Yale SOM writer Matt O’Rourke travels to Cape Town for Global Network Week.
I’m traveling to South Africa to participate in the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business’s first Global Network Week. UCT’s course, titled “Economics of Emerging Markets: Social Innovation and Business in Africa,” explores how businesses can reach the poorest segments of the population and address other challenges specific to emerging markets.
The issues are complex: social, cultural, and political factors are all important in emerging economies. Companies sometimes contribute to existing social issues, but in other cases can help alleviate them.
During the week, students will experience first-hand the South African “second economy”—the marginal, often unregulated businesses run by the working poor. Faculty from the university’s Bertha Centre for Social Innovation will discuss successful strategies that have been deployed in South Africa and across the continent for expanding economic development.