MBA students travel to South Africa for first Business and Society Practicum

Published by Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society on 16 Oct 2019

Supported by the Hoffmann Institute, 20 INSEAD MBA students visited the Unjani Clinics to help bring affordable and accessible healthcare to South African communities.

Master Strategist Day in October 2018 focused on a social enterprise, Unjani Clinics NPC, in South Africa. Following the case development and analysis of Unjani Clinics by the entire MBA Class of ‘19J, Professor Ithai Stern led a team of 20 MBA students to South Africa for a week for the first Business as a Force for Good Practicum. The practicum gave students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a real-world setting and help address the critical challenges Unjani faces in providing affordable and accessible healthcare across South Africa.

Unjani helps provide access to primary healthcare to the 15 million people in South Africa who do not have that access. It is an important effort that makes a real difference in the lives of millions of people and a step towards a healthier life and improved well-being (SDG3: Good Health and Well-being) in line with the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals.

 

As part of this practicum, students used tools learned in different core classes to help Unjani develop a plan to grow and become more self-sustaining. In collaboration with CEO Lynda Toussaint, students assessed the strategy that Unjani adopted following Master Strategist Day in October. Before leaving for South Africa, students developed an action plan for specific tasks identified through these exercises. They then worked closely with Unjani leadership to identify knowledge gaps among the staff and ensure the successful execution of the strategy.

Unjani Clinics NPC has a bold mission to open 1000 clinics by 2030. INSEAD will partner with the organization over the coming decade to help scale up its operations and achieve its goals. This relationship with Unjani will continue with a second Business as a Force for Good practicum in February 2020, when another group of students led by Professor Vikas Aggarwal will visit South Africa to support the organization and further improve healthcare in local communities.

Ongoing engagement with social enterprises such as Unjani will continue for many years to come, thanks to the recently established Hugo van Berckel Prize. Funding from this prize will help future teams implement the strategies identified through Master Strategist Day, develop further case studies and pursue social impact internships. This will allow students to actively engage in business as a force for good through activities that contribute to social enterprises around the world.

Category:  Learning

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