10 May 2017

West Africa: Stanford Seed Announces Expansion to India Following Success in East, West Africa

Stanford Seed today announced its expansion to India. The institute aims to build upon the success it has achieved since its inception in 2011. Core to this success has been the Seed Transformation Program - which first launched in West Africa in 2013 and subsequently expanded to East Africa in 2016.

"The impact of Seed in West and East Africa has been astounding, with nearly two-thirds of participants reporting increased revenue and job creation," said Jesper Sørensen, Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Professor of Organizational Behavior at the GSB and Executive Director of Seed, in a press statement. "We are five years into our journey, and just getting started. We believe - and have seen first-hand - that this unique model can help some of the most dynamic business leaders in these regions drive the kinds of firm growth that underlies sustainable regional prosperity. We are very eager to see its impact in India."

Per the statement, Seed is working with partners from across Stanford to empower business leaders to lead their regions to greater prosperity. Seed consists of three distinct yet complementary programs: the Seed Transformation Program, a yearlong, on-the-ground leadership program for the founders and leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises; Seed Student Programs, providing educational opportunities and summer internships at participating companies; and Seed Research, which provides funding for critical research to discover breakthrough solutions to promote prosperity throughout the developing world.

Flourishing from West to East Africa

After Seed's founding in 2011, the first Seed Transformation Program launched in Accra, Ghana, in 2013 and expanded to Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016. Since then, the Seed Transformation Program has trained and mentored 565 entrepreneurs and senior staff members.

"With Seed, I learned to use simple solutions to address a complex problem. It gave me the knowledge to experiment, attempt the unthinkable and make great things happen." said Femi Oye, owner of Gosolar Africa, based in Nigeria, in a release.

Changing Lives and Organizations in India

Per the release, the program is building on its success in Africa, to expand into India through its new location in Chennai, which will serve entrepreneurs from across the country. The first annual program will run from August 2017 to August 2018 and will be held at the state-of-the-art Infosys corporate campus.

"India is the world's second-most populous country, known for its entrepreneurial dynamism. We know from experience, however, that starting a company is different from making it grow, and that sustainable economic growth depends on firms solving the puzzle of scaling. The Seed Transformation Program leverages Stanford's deep insights into the leadership of rapidly growing enterprises. We believe that by transforming leaders and companies through this program we can contribute to increased prosperity for the companies and, more importantly, their communities," said Sørensen.

The application period is now open for the Seed Transformation Program, with applications in India due May 26, and applications in East and West Africa due June 30.

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