BMGT498I: Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Contemporary South African Context

Program Dates

January 4-16, 2015
First paid night for accommodation in Cape Town is Monday, January 5, 2015. Last paid night for accommodation in Cape Town is Thursday, January 15, 2015.


Cape Town, South Africa


Associate Dean Victor Mullins, PhD & Jeanette Snider, MA

Program Fee

Click here to submit SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION for first time abroad experiences


Apply online
NOTE: Admission of students with complete applications is on a competitive basis and application review will take place during the one week period following the "last day to apply" date. Admissions notifications will be sent on or after the decision date.

“Ranked by the World Bank as an “upper middle-income country”, South Africa is the largest economy in Africa – and it remains rich with promise. It was admitted to the BRIC group of countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China (known as BRICS) in 2011... The economy has a marked duality, with a sophisticated financial and industrial economy having grown alongside an underdeveloped informal economy. It is this “second economy” which presents both potential and a developmental challenge.” -Source:

Cape Town recently hosted the 5th Entrepreneur Expo and Conference and is considered the entrepreneurial capital of South Africa.  Students will be immersed in the field of social innovation by visiting local businesses and government agencies that support Cape Town’s growing venture activity.  They will also engage with students currently enrolled in the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  Cultural visits will foster understanding of the unique South African story so that students can fully engage in the world of designing creative, sustainable processes towards social change.

This course emphasizes practical application of course concepts and frameworks in real-world contexts. During this course, we will ask you to see yourself as a social entrepreneur. We will take an interactive approach to familiarizing you with social innovation as both a discipline and practice. The course provides a dynamic academic, practical, and personal experience.  Students are immersed in the world of designing creative, sustainable processes towards social change using multiple learning strategies that can be customized for each student. By the end of the course, you will have formed your own approach to social entrepreneurship and innovation, and you will have begun to develop the concepts, mind-sets, skills, and relationships that will enable you to continue to be an effective social innovator throughout your life.

Quotes from Smith students who were part of May 2014’s course to South Africa: 

"The Smith trip to South Africa has changed my life, not in one way, but every way possible. I now consider myself an agent of change. I have a deeper understanding of other people due to the course being a place of engagement and play rather than note-taking. And I am also more aware of who I am as a person and how to bring my FULL self to the table. These are rare life lessons, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that must be experienced." - Chris Lane

"The resilience, optimism, and beauty of the people matched with the breathtaking scenery definitely made this an experience that I not only will never forget but also one that changed my view on humanity, business, and social responsibility forever." - Foluke Tuakli

What else do you need to know?

PROGRAM DETAILS   International flights should not be booked until confirmation of course acceptance.  Once registered for the course, students are advised, but not required, to purchase refundable airplane tickets to counter any inconvenience caused by a change in unforeseen circumstances. Oftentimes, students have made their travel arrangements through STA Travel, a discount student travel agency. Details for an optional group flight from Dulles International Airport to Cape Town will be made available asap.  Each student will, however, be responsible for payment in full of their own flight. 

THE COURSE PROGRAM FEE ($3,000) includes UMD tuition for 3 credits; lodging in a shared accomodations; transportation in and around Cape Town for scheduled activities; on-site support and orientation; costs for any mandatory academic and cultural excursions and/or activities; most group meals; professor and partner fees; pre-departure meetings and excursions; UM Education Abroad services; International health insurance, including medical evacuation and repatriation of remains coverage. Not included: personal expenses, a few meals, optional trip insurance and international airfare. Students are responsible for obtaining and paying for their own visa and/or entry fee where applicable. 

PAYMENT OF THE PUBLISHED PROGRAM FEE is divided into three separate charges that are collected accordingly: 

(1) A non-refundable $50 application fee payable online by credit card is due at the time of application.

(2) Upon acceptance into the program, a $250 non-refundable deposit payable online by credit card is due within 10 days or less. The exact due date of this deposit will be communicated when student is accepted. Applicants understand that when he/she pays this deposit after being accepted into the program, it is deemed to be a commitment of participation. This deposit is non-refundable under any circumstances.

(3) The remaining balance will be due upon Education Abroad's registration of student into the program. This amount will appear on the student's account and will be payable before the end of the next billing cycle. See UMD's Education Abroad's website for other Refund and Withdrawal rules.

Any scholarship monies awarded by Smith will be credited to the student's account once the charge appears on his/her account. All efforts will be made to have the scholarship monies credited prior to payment due date.