This trio of cases is appropriate for upper-level undergraduate classes or for postgraduate programs in non-profit management, leadership and community development, international development, global studies, women’s and gender studies and social entrepreneurship. It allows the instructors and students to engage with classical leadership tenets and emerging social entrepreneurship literature. Upon completion of the case study discussion and assignments, students will be able to: identify diverse obstacles that African women face in starting social enterprises; understand the ways that African women leaders build a social dimension to their enterprise; and identify characteristics of women’s leadership and critique the value of women’s leadership for establishing sustainable social enterprises.
The case stories of the three African social enterprises portray how female leaders have fostered sustainable organisations through prioritising social, over economic and governance investments. Martha Letsoalo, a former domestic worker, founded the Heartfelt Project in South Africa, which now employs fifteen women, ships products all around the world and enriches the community of Makapanstad with its workshop, training and education centre. Victoria Nalongo Namusisi, daughter of a fisherman in rural Uganda, founded Bright Kids Uganda, a thriving care facility, school and community centre that educates vulnerable children, empowers victims of gender-based violence and distributes micro-loans to female entrepreneurs. Gertrude, abandoned in Lusaka, Zambia, founded Chikumbuso, a home of resilience and remembrance to educate children and offer women employment in a cooperative business. Each case documents the founding years of the social enterprise and outlines some of the shared women’s leadership approaches. The case dilemma focuses on why and how women start social enterprises in socially and economically difficult contexts.
Complexity academic level
This trio of cases is appropriate for undergraduate or graduate-level programs in non-profit management, leadership and community development, international development, global studies and social entrepreneurship.
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CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.
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Authors would like to thank the Social Enterprise founders and leaders who shared their insights and time with authors. Students, Natalie Hernandez and Titilola Price helped conduct field work, data collection and analysis. This research was made possible, in part, by a Kean University 2018 “Student Partnering with Faculty Grant ”.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 recognisable information to protect confidentiality.
Jeong, B.G. and Compion, S. (2021), "Characteristics of women’s leadership in African social enterprises: The Heartfelt Project, Bright Kids Uganda and Chikumbuso", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 11 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/EEMCS-11-2019-0305
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