This lab course, leverages your expertise and strengthens your consulting skills by working on a project with a company from Africa. The lab is part of the Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in Africa (ECAfrica) program which is a program at Columbia Business School that equips entrepreneurs from midsized African companies with the skills, tools, and contacts to professionalize and grow their businesses in today’s global environment. Each company enrolls a team of two or three senior staff — CEO, founder, managing director, CFO, COO, or other leaders. The companies are all beyond the start-up stage and are looking to scale. Each company is unique in industry and size, ranging from $200K to $230M in annual revenue, 22-3800 employees, and 3-88 years in business. To learn more about the EC-Africa program and the enrolled companies, check out the program website and the company profiles.
The consulting projects are an integral part of the EC-Africa program and students will help the company reach key milestone goals. Sessions at the beginning, throughout the semester and at the end with faculty and coaches allow inputs and reflections, so that students sharpen their consulting skills and generate value for the companies. The class is valuable not only for students who are going to work in management consulting after their MBA, but for everybody who wants to apply their learning from the MBA to the benefit of a company and wants to deepen consulting skills that will be valuable in every company and industry.
The projects with companies from EC Africa, will also provide insights into opportunities and challenges for firms in Africa. Africa is the world’s second-fastest growing region – after emerging Asia – according to the African Development Bank Report. 1.3 billion people live in Africa and according to the United Nations, the population is expected to increase to 2.5 billion by 2050. The working-class population in Africa is growing by 2.7 percent each year (compared to 1.3 percent in Latin America and 1.2 percent in Southeast Asia). McKinsey projects that by 2025 two-thirds of the estimated 303 million African households will have discretionary income and consumer spending will reach $2.1 trillion.1 Not surprisingly, many firms and investors are viewing Africa as having a lot of potential – but there are also unique challenges that make building a business in Africa difficult. Working with a company in Africa allows students to get unique insights into what it means to have a business in Africa.
Class Dates are scheduled: Wednesdays (Feb 2, Mar 2, Mar 30) 5:40pm – 8:55pm; Sunday, January 30, Saturday, Apr 30 9:00am – 4:00pm (1-hour break)
An application will be required. Please click here to access the application.
James P. Gorman Professor of Business; Chair of Management Division
Stephan Meier is currently the chair of the Management Division and the James P. Gorman Professor of Business at Columbia Business School. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Zurich, was previously a senior economist at the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision-Making at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and taught courses on strategic interactions and economic policy at...
Adjunct Associate Professor
Joe’s career has been focused on consulting, B2B technology, and software. He is a former partner of McKinsey & Company and Chief Strategy Officer. He currently serves on the boards of PlanetiQ, a weather satellite company, VUV Analytics, a gas chromatography company, and BrightVolt, a battery technology company. He is Board Chair of Navicore Solutions, a consumer-debt counseling...