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Social Engagement at the USB

The University of Stellenbosch Business School's ultimate purpose is to develop leaders and managers who will be stewards of society, irrespective of the sector or organisation in which they work. For USB, social impact means:

  • The societal orientation and impact of our curricula and research
  • Our involvement in social dialogue and public policy making
  • The social impact of our engagement with stakeholders
  • Our collaboration with partner schools and organisations, and
  • Our sustainability and responsibility practices as an institution. 


Social sector initiatives in which we are involved

Social engagement for students

As part of engaged learning, MBA and MPhil in Development Finance students assist small business owners from low-income areas such as Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain with business plans and other forms of support and do research in this field.


Business-driven action learning with NPOs

During the course of the open Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP), presented by USB Executive Development Ltd (USB-ED), participants are required to support NPOs with performance improvement.


Management and leadership training for non-profit organisations

USB's alumni present the Management Programme for NPOs, which enhances managerial effectiveness, service delivery and good governance in the NPO sector. USB-ED's NPO Leadership and Strategy Programme builds capacity for facilitative leadership in complex situations.


Developing young African talent

USB-ED works with Rising Star, a programme aimed at establishing a living community of young African talent. The programme includes mentoring and platforms for development and communication, enabling young people to become role models and opinion leaders and to inspire others.


Developing leadership capacity in schools

The School Leadership Programme, presented by USB-ED and SEED Educational Trust, equips school principals, deputies and district administrators to exercise facilitative leadership in the complex and highly stressed environment in which they have to make education work.


Supporting small business development

With the Small Business Academy, USB makes a difference to the lives and businesses of small business owners from low-income communities in the Western and Eastern Cape. USB works with alumni, students, corporate sponsors and other stakeholders to share knowledge and develop a skill set for small business owners. The Centre for Applied Entrepreneurship at USB-ED does youth development and offers community-focused entrepreneurship training and local economic development.

Young Minds Entrepreneurship Programme

This programme, presented by USB-ED, helps school-leavers, students and young graduates to define their direction and goals in life. In 2016, 95 young people were impacted through this career-focused gap-year programme.

​Find out more

Please contact Prof Arnold Smit: Head of USB Social Impact and associate professor of Business in Society at USB:


How to support the USB's social engagement projects

USB needs financial support from private and corporate donors, philanthropic foundations, research partners, alumni and people like you to make the most of our Social Engagement programme.

Ways to give back to USB include supporting our Bursary Scheme, the USB Small Business Academy, specific alumni projects as identified by the USB Alumni Association's Exco, and direct involvement in our mentorship programmes. ​Please click here to see how you can become involved.