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Introducing the Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA 2010

ma r c h 2010

Corporate Showcase

GIBS full-time Entrepreneurship MBA

vision The course covers all the necessary business, marketing, operational, HR and financial theory, but the material is presented with a bias towards practical implementation in the entrepreneurial environment. They will be exposed to a faculty of like-minded people who have first-hand experience as entrepreneurs themselves, and to a network of individuals and organisations that will prove invaluable in opening doors to future business opportunities.

Generating economic growth

Why an entrepreneurship MBA? In the year since launching the GIBS Full-time Entrepreneurship MBA, I have been asked on numerous occasions whether it is possible to train entrepreneurs.


eople ask me whether a ‘real entrepreneur’ wouldn’t rather invest their money in a business idea than in an education. If entrepreneurs are supposed to be go-getters, why would they ‘waste’ a year doing an MBA when they could be rolling up their sleeves and starting their business? These questions reflect the many false assumptions that exist about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. So here are some facts: most entrepreneurs are not 20-something high school drop-outs who saw a market niche or made millions from a great tech idea. Most start their first business in their thirties or early forties and have between five and ten years’ experience in their industry. It is estimated that around 80% of South African entrepreneurial businesses fail in the first three years but, importantly, the more education the entrepreneur has, the greater their chances of success. This is not to say that the ‘better mousetrap’ idea isn’t still a critical ingredient to successful entrepreneurship – it’s just that ideas and innovation are no longer enough. The world of business has become increasingly sophisticated and people who want to succeed need the entrepreneurial business skills to scale their

good idea so that it becomes a commercially successful and sustainable enterprise. To achieve this you need to understand marketing, selling, how to build and manage a team, how to put together a business plan that’s attractive to funders, how to negotiate and how to handle the knocks you will unquestionably experience along the way.

Meeting entrepreneur's needs Can these skills be taught? Yes, absolutely. However, they need to be taught in a way that takes cognisance of the unique nature and needs of the entrepreneurial business environment. It may be true that people don’t learn how to be entrepreneurs at business school, but that’s not because the skills required to be a successful entrepreneur can’t be taught. Rather it's because business schools have been teaching people entrepreneurship, instead of teaching them how to be entrepreneurs. This is where the GIBS Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA focuses. Targeted specifically at meeting the needs of the entrepreneur, it provides students with the full set of skills they need to turn their ‘better mousetrap’ idea into a commercially successful business.

So, to my mind, the question we should be asking is not, can we teach entrepreneurs, but why do we need to teach entrepreneurs. The answer to that question is simple. South Africa’s deepest, long-term problem is poverty and the only way to solve it is through an effective State and economic growth. Government can create the enabling environment but it can’t generate economic growth. This comes from entrepreneurship, recognised globally as one of the most powerful job-creation engines. Its relevance and importance to the current South African context cannot be over-stated, and the need to educate entrepreneurs has never been more pressing. We at GIBS aim to make a start through the Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA. However, the programme is not for everyone. As our first intake of students will testify, this is an extremely rigorous and challenging course. Entry criteria are necessarily stringent; we are looking for those individuals who have the personal attributes, ideas and business plan necessary to start a business. Many of them will be restless to break free from the corporate environment in order to bring their own business idea to fruition. Others will have started businesses already and found they need the skills, mentorship and network to scale their idea up. All of them will show that special brand of resilience and vision so characteristic of entrepreneurs. If this describes you, I urge you to apply and I look forward to welcoming you as part of our second intake to the GIBS Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA.

Professor Nick Binedell Director: Gordon Institute of Business Science

m a r c h 2010



GIBS full-time Entrepreneurship MBA

GIBS full-time Entrepreneurship MBA


faculty Perspectives from the faculty

Are you right for the GIBS Entrepreneurship MBA? Not everyone is an entrepreneur. Creating a new venture is a challenging task, riddled with risk, uncertainty and ambiguity. Some people thrive under these conditions, while others are paralysed by stress and fear.


Luisa Mazinter

Ross Beerman

Sandy Lowitt

Course: Marketing Planning and Customer Management

Course: Business Finance

Course: Microeconomics: Prices & Markets

Day job: CEO at and CEO at Cube [On The Square] (Pty) Ltd

Day job: Co-founder and managing director of AllLife Insurance Company

Experience: Luisa is an MBA graduate from GIBS. She is a marketing guru who co-founded strategic marketing consultancy Cube [On The Square], which specialises in marketing and eBusiness strategy development and implementation. She also co-founded, a how-to portal and knowledge resource focusing on marketing and communication, which has become the voice of the marketing industry.

Experience: Ross has a BSc (Mech Eng) degree and an MBA, and has worked locally and internationally in the field of finance and private equity. His career has seen him raise around R500 million for businesses, both his own and others’. In 2004 he co-founded AllLife Insurance, the only company in the world that provides affordable life cover to HIV-positive South Africans.

“The aim of the course I teach is to help students develop a comprehensive marketing plan for their businesses. This involves making a rigorous assessment of their market and devising innovative, creative and cost-effective ways of reaching it. It’s a subject about which I am passionate and therefore find easy and energising to teach. I draw a great deal on real world examples from my personal experience of marketing and my knowledge of the industry. Sharing this knowledge with others who want to learn is very gratifying. What I particularly like about the Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA is that it still covers all the key components of a traditional MBA, with all the required academic rigour, but it's tailored specifically to the entrepreneurship niche. This makes it far more focused and applicable to entrepreneurs than the general MBA.”



e n t r e p r e n e u r c or p or at e s ho w c a s e

“My course teaches students the value of money, where to get it, what to do with it when you’ve got it and when to give it back to shareholders. An understanding of finance is critical for anyone wanting to start a successful and sustainable business, and although some students are intimidated by the course initially, they learn that the maths principles are not complex. More than anything it’s important to be able to apply them to practical day-to-day running of a business. The course gives students a far better understanding of what works and what doesn’t and it will give their business concepts a dose of reality. This gives them a big step up the ladder in terms of achieving success and I have no doubt that the ideas they brought to the programme will have evolved dramatically once they graduate. I believe that entrepreneurs shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel. They can learn from the lessons of those who have gone before and I enjoy drawing on my own experience and learnings from the world of finance and business, and sharing these with them.”

Day job: Independent consultant working with the Economic Development and Growth Initiative (EDGI) at the Human Sciences Research Council Experience: Sandy holds a MCom (Economics) degree. She worked for 11 years in the Gauteng government, developing the provincial economic database, drafting the Trade and Industrial Strategy, establishing the Gauteng Economic Development Agency and Gauteng Tourism Authority, and helping create Blue IQ, where she served as CEO. Now an independent consultant, Sandy’s work focuses on industrial policy issues. “The microeconomics course teaches students about the different kinds of economic variables that will impact on their business. I try to give them a sense of what it is like to run a business in our transitionary economy and within the broader business environment of South Africa. Pure economic theory, while important, needs to be made practical if it is to be helpful and I draw on practical examples to illustrate the principles of a theory. For example, we’ll read stories in the daily business news about real entrepreneurial businesses, and then use these articles to explain the economic theory. I have taught similar courses to corporate MBA students but this course is fundamentally different. Traditional MBA students will never need to apply all of the theory in their roles in business, but entrepreneurs have to understand the big picture and all the variables. It’s my job to get them to this point.”

he GIBS Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA is designed for entrepreneurs, people with a passion to create something new, a willingness to work really hard and the discipline to see things through. Do you have what it takes to survive and thrive on the Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA? Reflecting on the following four points will help you answer this critical question:

1. Are you an entrepreneur? First and foremost you need to figure out if you truly have the spirit of an entrepreneur. Having an entrepreneurial spirit means that you are not satisfied with the status quo and you have a strong desire to change things for the better. You know that you will never be satisfied working within the confines of an existing organisation; you are desperate to create something new and to be a master of that process. People with an entrepreneurial spirit are turned on by opportunities; their minds are constantly ticking over with new ideas. If you can identify strongly with these characteristics then you are blessed (or plagued) with the spirit of an entrepreneur and you are condemned to a life of restlessness as you constantly seek to change the world. In this case the Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA may be for you.

2. Are you willing to make sacrifices? Building a business and doing an MBA both require hard work, lots and lots of hard work. One of the significant factors distinguishing successful from unsuccessful entrepreneurs is their willingness to work hard. By choosing to do an MBA as a foundation for building a strong high growth business, you will be investing upfront to get returns later on. While many of your colleagues and friends are earning attractive salaries and climbing the corporate ladder, you will be investing in your own skills and capabilities so that you can create your own corporate ladder further down the line. Choosing this route is about being willing to make short-term sacrifices for long-term gains.

3. Do you want to go big? People start businesses for different reasons; some to make a living, others to make a real difference. Doing an MBA as a basis for launching a new venture is about leveraging an education to make an impact. If you are interested in just making a living, then you can probably do that without an MBA. If you want to start a business that is going to employ many people or change an industry, then an MBA will give you the tools and frameworks to be a high growth entrepreneur.

4. Will you empower others? Entrepreneurship is a social activity; it requires that you work with and empower others. Time and time again successful entrepreneurs state that the most critical factor contributing to their success is “people”. Entrepreneurs need to work closely with others in a new venture management team, they need to hire the right employees and forge relationships with suppliers, customers and investors. In a similar vein, an MBA is social activity. MBA students work in teams to deliver projects. In an MBA you will develop some of your most valuable friendships and create a business network that is second to none. In deciding whether to do an MBA, ask yourself: “Am I willing to work with others?” If the answer is no, then you are less likely to be successful in your MBA or in launching a new venture.

What’s not required? The questions above allude to criteria that are necessary for success on the Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA. But you don’t need to have everything: n You don’t need a crystallised business idea – you will explore many ideas for new business on the MBA and your ideas will emerge and evolve. n You don’t need access to resources for your new venture – the GIBS MBA provides you with the tools to look for capital from multiple sources. n You don’t need a long and illustrious track record – it’s about what you'll do in the future.

Why GIBS? Shireen Chengadu, academic director, outlines why GIBS is best positioned to deliver a unique Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA. The GIBS Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA offers aspirant entrepreneurs highly innovative, cutting-edge education, a faculty of experienced experts and a network that will stand their business in good stead for years to come. The programme has been structured to provide students with multiple perspectives and access to a diverse knowledge base. The faculty comprises people who are able to deliver courses of academic rigour, while drawing on their extensive experience as entrepreneurs or independent consultants. Their involvement in the real world of business lends relevance to what students learn. For ten years, GIBS has developed relationships with individuals, corporates, NGOs and the public private sector. Students will have the opportunity to form relationships with these important role players and this, coupled with their interaction with the faculty members and students on the Executive MBA programme will help them build a network of people that will open unique doors of opportunity for their businesses. They will gain access to mentors, partners, support organisations and individuals who can help them raise start-up capital. This network is further enhanced by the global partnerships that GIBS has forged with eminent international business schools. These include Reims Management School in France, Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands, Georgetown University in the US and the European Business School in Germany. An international student exchange affords students the opportunity to do electives at one of these institutions. Like GIBS, the Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA is constantly evolving to ensure it provides relevant theoretical and practical education, and creates an enabling environment in which aspirant entrepreneurs can create, build and sustain flourishing businesses.

m a r c h 2010



GIBS full-time Entrepreneurship MBA

GIBS full-time Entrepreneurship MBA

course structure

Students Class of 2009

what you can expect

We asked a group of gibs full-time Entrepreneurship MBA students from the programme’s first intake to share their reasons for doing the course and their impressions so far.

Students signing up to the GIBS Full-Time entrepreneurship MBA can expect a rigorous course that will both challenge and stretch them.

Lebogang Poonyane

Nishi Ayer “I wanted to grow my HR consulting business but didn’t feel like I had the necessary skills to do so. I have always wanted to do an MBA and when I saw that GIBS was offering one tailored to suit entrepreneurs, I jumped at the opportunity. GIBS’ phenomenal reputation coupled with the fact that the course was so specific to entrepreneurs made it the obvious choice for me. The course is like a handbook of what you need to do and I love the fact that it includes practical with the theory. I am already implementing things I have learned in my business. Being paired with a business mentor is also incredibly valuable and has provided me with the opportunity to learn first-hand from someone who’s been there and done it. The course is undoubtedly challenging, particularly because I am a wife and mother in addition to being an entrepreneur. It's a very intense programme but you can complete it in just over a year, so I haven't had to put my life and business on hold in the way I would need to if I was doing a traditional MBA. After this, I will definitely have the confidence, tools and knowledge to scale up my business. It’s changed the way I view business and I would definitely recommend it.

Ricky Solomons The fact that this MBA is full-time and very structured is what really appealed to me. I did a BCom (Finance) and to be honest I didn’t really enjoy it that much and wasn’t particularly keen on studying further, but I knew I needed to differentiate myself in some way. When I heard that there was an MBA targeted at entrepreneurs, and that you could do it full-time, I knew it was right for me. I love the fact that the subject matter is so realistic and that we get to debate and learn from reallife case studies and examples. We are required to be active participants which adds a richness to the learning. If you come unprepared, you lose out, so every one is really motivated and energised. I’ve found the quality of teaching and the faculty members to be the most valuable part 6


e n t r e p r e n e u r c or p or at e s ho w c a s e

Nishi Ayer

Ricky Solomons

of the programme thus far. Our lecturers have well-established businesses and pass on their knowledge and experience to us. Where else can you gain access to that kind of information? I run a pool servicing company and doing this while studying is a massive balancing act. It requires early mornings, late evenings and no weekends – but then that’s the life of an entrepreneur!

Lebogang Poonyane I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and when I first read about the programme I felt like it had been tailored specifically to suit me. I also loved the fact that GIBS was founded and is run by people who I consider to be entrepreneurial. Our lecturers and the guest speaker entrepreneurs who we are exposed to are phenomenal. It would probably have taken me ten years in business to be able to make those connections, so I think that I will derive real value from the network I am able to build. I was also fortunate enough to win the competition that resulted in my scholarship and that in itself has done a lot for my personal brand. I also find that when I am trying to make connections in business and get my foot in the door, all I have to say is that I am a GIBS Entrepreneurship MBA student and people take me seriously. I have always felt that a lot of academic courses miss an element of realism, but this course is all about being realistic. We learn the

Cedric Leitch

theory and then we learn how things play out in the real world of business. The course has met all of my expectations thus far.

Cedric Leitch This course has enriched me and empowered me with the freedom and the tools I need to run my own business. Coming from an advertising background, it has reinforced my desire to be an entrepreneur. One of the most important things I have learned is that every decision you make as an entrepreneur has a colossal impact on your business. Whether it's HR, finance, operations or marketing, it has an effect and you have to be on top of it all. The Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA has allowed me to understand the running of a business holistically. I have always had the passion but the reality is that I needed the guidance on how to implement my ideas into successful, sustainable businesses. The Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA is a rigorous programme where a significant amount of work is done in groups. Each one of these individuals is of a different age and background with different strengths and weaknesses so you find that you learn a lot more if you work together. Most of us in the class have strong personalities and are extremely driven. The GIBS faculty and guest entrepreneur speakers have made this course a truly character building experience.

Qualifying Criteria n A minimum of a degree or

equivalent qualification


he course covers the academic theory of business, but with a strong bias towards entrepreneurship and, in particular, how the theoretical principles can be applied in a real-life business. “This course is about entrepreneurship in the real world,” says Justinus Adriaanse, senior programme manager. “Everything the students learn is brought back to practical application in an entrepreneurial business setting.” GIBS uses a case-study approach to teaching, drawing on real-life examples and case studies to illustrate the principles under discussion. Faculty members have been selected partly because of the experience they have as entrepreneurs or independent consultants. “The course is very participative and students are expected to enter into debate and discussion about what they learn in class. They are also required to work together in groups,” says Adriaanse. As its name suggests, this is a full-time course and students need to be able to dedicate themselves to the programme for the full period that it runs. The first part of the programme comprises five core modules, each of which involves four courses.

n Submission and presentation of a

mini business plan n Leadership potential demonstrated Justinus Adriaanse, senior programme manager of the Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA & CEO of Private Property

Once these are complete, students need to choose five electives: three from the Entrepreneurship cluster and two further electives from the general MBA cluster. These electives can be taken overseas at one of the institutions on the international student exchange programme. Students also need to complete a research project, a compulsory component of any Master's programme. Over the course of the year students need to refine and hone their business plan, and present it as part of a business plan competition to a panel comprising investors, business people, consultants and academics.

through work experience n Good English skills n Minimum senior certificate-level

competence in maths n Competence in use of scientific or

financial calculator

Fees & Scholarships Tuition fees for the Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA come to R130 000. This includes all textbooks, study material, tuition, refreshments and lunches and excludes the cost of the compulsory global module which will vary depending on the option selected. There is a non-refundable application fee of R2 000.

Contact GIBS offers various scholarships for this programme. For further information contact Grace Manchidi on +27 11 771 4120 or e-mail

Course Programme Module 1 July 2010

Module 2 Aug/Sept 2010

Module 3 Sept/Oct 2010

Module 4 Oct/Nov 2010

Module 5 Nov/Dec 2010

Module 6 Jan–April 2010

Module 7 May–Oct 2010

Entrepreneurship 1: Entrepreneurial Process

Analytical Tools & Techniques

Business Research & Analysis

The Art of Negotiation

Entrepreneurship 3: Business Plan Development

Research Project

Five Electives

Entrepreneurship 2: Creativity & Innovation

Financial Accounting

Management Accounting

Business Finance

Research Methodology Presentation of Preliminary Business Plan

Research Project – Submit by July 2010

Microeconomics: Prices & Markets

Macroeconomics: National Competitiveness

Operations Management 1

Operations Management 2


Presentation of Final Business Plan – September 2011

Human Behaviour & Performance in SA

Marketing 1: Marketing Practices & Technology

Marketing 2: Marketing Plan

Human Resources Strategy


Compulsory Global Module – 2011

Applications for the GIBS Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA close on 15 May 2010. For more information please visit

Concluding Module – End Oct/ Early Nov 2011 m a r c h 2010



Corporate Profile - Gibs Full Time Entrepreneurship MBA 2010  

Introducing the Full-Time Entrepreneurship MBA 2010 presented by the Gordon Institute of Business Science