Ebio – What Value are Social Partnerships in South Africa?
Albert Wocke, Christine Yiannakis
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South Africa, Small
Partnership; Cross Cultural Management; Entrepreneurial Business Growth; Social Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship, General Management/Strategy, Organizational Behaviour/Leadership, International, Social Advocacy Organizations
The case deals with the evolution of a socially based business that provides education and work-preparedness to underprivileged people in South Africa. The case takes place in South African townships and involves the formation of a firm that provides poor African people with tools to help them become ready for and gain employment, or start their own business. The Ebio business model requires close community involvement and an understanding of African culture. The entrepreneur and his team have proven the concept works but now have to scale up the enterprise. He has to decide how to expand his team, what the cost of attracting additional team members will be and whether they will fit into his unique business model. This case has been used in MBA entrepreneur courses and executive education courses for social entrepreneurs to illustrate the difficulties in commercializing a socially based firm.