Skip to content

Exploring Business in South Africa

Course overview

The Global Innovation Challenge is a project-based course in which international Masters’ students work as external consultants on a business challenge of a given company or business that requires innovation and transformational solutions. The aim of the course is to offer Masters’ students a pedagogical and professional experience and the opportunity to innovate within a specific industry.

This course aims to enhance students’ innovation and creativity skills, knowledge in transformation, change management and creating business solutions with global impact. This specific course investigates business from a South African and developing market perspective to disseminate and develop knowledge.

It includes academic sessions, cultural activities, visits and consulting with companies from diverse industries located in the Western Cape of South Africa Participants engage with leading S.A. businesses to experience an intensive business immersion to deliver a strategic management project solution.

Academic year


Duration and dates

2 weeks from Saturday 26 June to Saturday 10 July 2021

Teaching format

Face-to-face on campus in Cape Town, South Africa or online. Face-to-face and online teaching will be presented at the same time.


Marlize Terblanche-Smit and Samantha Walbrugh-Parsadh


  • Marlize Terblanche-Smit is Full Professor of Marketing at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). She joined the USB in 2013 and held the position of Head (Director) of the MBA programme from 2014 to 2016. Prior to this she was involved at Stellenbosch University main campus, as well as in industry. She has a comprehensive record of academic scholarship and is a seasoned business professional with more than 27 years of collective experience. She has served in senior and executive management, as well as consulting positions in industry and academia, including managing director of a strategic marketing consulting company and as group marketing executive of a global FMCG company. She regularly consults as a strategic marketing practitioner in various industries, including FMCG, luxury brands, finance, retail, and non-profit. Marlize is enthusiastic  about the transfer of knowledge and passionate about presenting new and different  viewpoints on current and future business challenges through her teaching on the MBA programmes both locally and abroad.
  • Samantha Walbrugh-Parsadh is Head of International Affairs at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). She joined USB in 2014, and her responsibility spans development and execution of internationalisation policy and strategy. Her leadership and integration of internationalisation activities include initiating, developing and implementing the internationalisation of USB’s core activities of research, teaching and learning, and social impact. Prior to joining USB she was Assistant Director in the International Office at Stellenbosch University main campus for 10 years, managing various internationalisation programmes and new initiatives. Her experience spans from working within the Marketing and Communication Division; the Office of the Rector and Vice-Chancellor; as well as the Institutional Advancement Division at Stellenbosch University.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course a student should be able to:

A. Knowledge and Understanding:

  • Understand business  transformation innovation processes, change management and innovation
  • Understand developing market business challenges and apply within a global context

B. Subject-Specific Skills:

  • Identify and articulate organizational challenges
  • Apply effective data collection techniques
  • Use analytical frameworks to organize data analysis
  • Interpret analysis
  • Develop implementable solutions
  • Prepare project reports and client presentations

C. General Interpersonal Skills:

  • Effective teamwork in a multicultural environment
  • Interpret cultural differences
  • Interact effectively within a multicultural and multi-disciplinary group
  • Develop ethical and social understanding

Course content

This course intends to solve an actual business challenge. Students work together on a given group-consulting project, with a client, to solve the business challenge on hand. Emphasis is placed on participation, sharing experience with peers, different viewpoints and practical and/or managerial implications.

Various business challenges will be put forward, for example:

  • Develop innovative solutions to improve environmental footprint of a company’s product
  • Business model development for current or new market or new market
  • New product development

The course consists of two weeks of theoretical sessions, company briefing, company site visits or virtual site visits and team work on the company site or virtual. The 1st week focuses on academic class sessions and company visits/virtual visits to understand the S.A. business  context. The 2nd week’s focus is on business immersion, interactive discussion and presentation of business solutions, face-to face or virtual.

The course includes fieldwork, namely working with a client business to:

  • Define and identify the challenge/problem at hand
  • Collection and prioritizing of relevant data related to the company and problem
  • Analysis of data and evaluating alternative solutions
  • Recommendations and presentation of the proposed solution to the business decision-makers

Course value


Required background

Students must have completed one semester of coursework at the Master's level in one of the participating business schools.


The evaluation of this course is based on the group project content and context, as well as the final presentation. Assessment will be done as follows:

  • Internal evaluation by the project coordinator at the host school, based on the context, structure and content of the recommendations.
  • External evaluation by the company’s representative/senior management, based on the functioning of the project team, applicability and content of the recommendations.
  • Peer evaluation to ascertain individual participation.
  • Post course assignment (individual) on the cultural context and reflection.


  • Cerruti, C., Tavoletti, E., and Grieco, C. 2019. Management consulting: a review of fifty years of scholarly research. Management Research Review, 42(8).
  • Kipping, M. & Clark, T. 2012. Researching Management Consulting: An Introduction;  The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting. Oxford Publishing.
  • Kumar, V., and Srivastava, R. 2020. New perspectives on business model innovations  in emerging markets. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 48, 815–825.
  • Lopes da Costa, R.; Martinho, F., Miguel, I, and Barreiros, L. 2013. The “Fashionable  Knowledge” of Management Consulting. Journal of Management and Sustainability,  3(3).

Extra cost

  • Programme fee if the 100% ONLINE teaching format is selected: Euro 100

The above-mentioned amount is meant to cover live-streaming costs for the SA cooking class, wine farm visits and other events (camera crew, sound engineers, etc.).


  • Programme fee if the FACE-TO-FACE teaching format is selected: Euro 550

The above-mentioned amount includes airport shuttles on arrival and departure, all programme related transport, full-day social excursion on 27 June 2021, mid-morning refreshments and lunch from Monday to Friday for two weeks, welcome dinner (SA cooking class) and additional dinners as indicated on the schedule below. 

The above-mentioned amount does not include flight, visa (if applicable), accommodation and social excursion costs (3 & 4 July 2021), which are the sole responsibility of the participants.

Miscellaneous information

Groups will be formed after arrival.

About the School

University of Stellenbosch Business School is the leading business school in Africa and specialises in personalised and transformative student experiences, having an in-depth understanding of the forces that shape the future.

Being geared towards positive change and social impact, University of Stellenbosch Business School recognizes the need to leverage students’ leadership skills to develop responsible leaders and drive prosperity in uncertain times, as well as create new knowledge that contributes to better business in better societies all over the world.