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Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve: towards sustainability

Boris Urban (Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Claire Beswick (Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 21 November 2018


Theoretical basis

Research methodology.

Teaching note

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Learning outcomes

At the end of the case discussion, the students should be able to: demonstrate an understanding of the similarities and differences between profit and non-profit organisations; discuss social entrepreneurship as a process-driven set of activities; assess the organisation-environment-opportunity fit of the dilemma facing them; analyse and resolve practical issues in developing structure and systems; diagnose organisational issues facing enterprises wishing to formalise and grow; evaluate how an organisation may achieve both social and profit objectives; and appreciate the trade-offs of adopting a profit-driven approach for social enterprises.

Case overview/synopsis:

From her office on her farm in the Eden District of South Africa’s Western Cape province, Wendy Crane, who had for many years been involved in the conservation efforts of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR), drank in the view of the Langeberg Mountains. Her pleasure was a bit diminished by the knowledge that, like so many parts of the GCBR, this area’s environment was under threat. She was preparing for a meeting in March 2017 of the board of the non-profit company (NPC) that sought to initiate and coordinate activities that would achieve the goals of the GCBR. The NPC board members wanted the organisation to be self-sustaining when it came to core costs. To this end, the board had established Gouritz Enterprises as a social enterprise that would be responsible for profit-driven activities which would fund the NPC’s core costs. The enterprise had not yet started work in any formal way, and Crane was not sure if establishing a separate profit-driven entity was the best way of achieving the self-financing goal.

Complexity academic level

Post-graduate management diploma MBAC.

Subject code:

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Urban, B. and Beswick, C. (2018), "Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve: towards sustainability", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 8 No. 4.



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Copyright © 2018, 2017 Graduate School of Business Administration, University of the Witwatersrand.