About EC-Africa


The EC-Africa program at Columbia Business School equips entrepreneurs from mid-sized African companies with the skills, tools, and network to professionalize and grow their businesses in today’s global environment.

This ten-month program features:

  • Rigorous online classes with Columbia professors
  • A self-selected company project guided by faculty and industry advisors
  • A Columbia Certificate of Business Excellence
  • A final week in New York at the Columbia campus with professors and advisors
  • Enrolment in the Columbia Business School worldwide alumni network.

For more information, watch the recording of our virtual info session.

Program Format

  • MBA Core Courses (Operations, Marketing, Strategy, Leadership, etc.)
  • Think Bigger Project: Each company team will develop and implement a project that prepares the company for your next phase using the Think Bigger framework, exclusively taught at Columbia Business School. These projects may involve process improvement, a new marketing strategy, entering new markets, or any other ambition. 
  • Project team: Each company will be assigned a Think Bigger Coach, a team of MBA student consultants, and a peer group within the program. They will also have access to a pool of CBS Faculty Advisors who can advise on their projects as needed.
  • Campus Immersion Week: The company team travels to the Columbia campus in New York in September to close out the program with a week of project presentations, networking, meetings with faculty, and local company visits.


Each company enrolls a team of two or three senior staff — CEO, founder, managing director, CFO, COO, or other leader. This ensures fuller uptake of class lessons and better implementation of the company project.

Company profile: an established firm with a scalable business in or ready to enter a growth phase

Participant profile: proficient in English, bachelor’s degree, global mindset, intellectual curiosity

Read more about who should apply to the EC-Africa Program.

Immediate Results, Long-Lasting Benefits

  • Acquire tools and skills to grow your business and lead change within your organization.
  • Collaborate with faculty and other expert advisors to work on a project to build your business with measurable results.
  • Join a strong network of entrepreneurs, industry coaches, and business leaders from around the world.
  • Gain international exposure to other regions of Africa with different business and entrepreneurial cultures.
  • Experience the ideal environment to exchange insights with peer entrepreneurs and benefit from professors’ expertise.
  • Take the opportunity to step back as a team and take an overall view of your company’s present and future.
  • Join the Columbia Business School alumni network of more than 42,000 executives across dozens of industries in over 120 countries.
  • Audit Columbia Business School classes at any time — a lifelong alumni privilege.


See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Contact [email protected] with any questions.


Applications for the class of 2022 are now open. Admissions are done on a rolling basis. Spots are filling up quickly, so apply as soon as possible. Once you submit your application, we will follow up to schedule an interview.

Application includes:

  • Company description
  • Possible projects to develop in the program
  • Participant bios

Program Fees

  • $12,000 per company, for two or three participants
  • Companies cover their own airfare to and from New York


  • Module 1: December 6-10, 2021: Introductory classes (14 hours)
  • Module 2: December 16, 2021 – September 22, 2022: Weekly classes and Advisory sessions every Thursday at 9am ET/2pm WAT/3pm CAT/4pm EAT
  • Module 3: September 25-30, 2022: Columbia campus week and graduation ceremony
  • Total company commitment: 3-5 hours per week x 10 months


  • OCP Morocco
  • Endeavor Energy
  • Benetton
  • The Chazen Institute at Columbia Business School

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The EC-Africa program is based on Columbia’s ECLA program for Latin America, which has run since 2010 and has graduated more than 200 entrepreneurs from 96 companies in 12 different countries and across 40+ industries. It has generated for the region:

  • more than 10,000 new jobs
  • 38% average annual growth rate per company
  • 77% of companies get the return on their investment in the program within one year of graduating.

Read more about some of our ECLA Success Stories.