GEMBA students explore innovation in Kampala, Uganda

The 2015 Global Executive MBA class recently spent a week expanding their knowledge and horizon about innovation and entrepreneurship on the African continent in Kampala, Uganda.

“The module in Uganda pushes participants’ boundaries and exposes them to a business climate vastly different from what they may be used to,” says CBS associate professor Søren Jeppesen, who led the trip alongside Rebecca Namatovu from Makerere University Business School (MUBS).

Combining lectures and company visits to local and international companies, the group learned first-hand about the social awareness that drives local Ugandan entrepreneurs to run businesses to support young girls’ education as well as the challenges international companies face in establishing themselves in the African market. Lectures were held at the local business school, MUBS, where students could network with fellow local MBA students. The Danish Ambassador to Uganda, Mogens Pedersen, added a Danish perspective to business and innovation in the region.

“The trip to Uganda provided a unique opportunity to gain additional global perspective and experience innovation and entrepreneurship in a completely different context. Although, it is driven by necessity and survival, the strong entrepreneurial culture in Uganda is striking and encourage us to rethink our willingness to take risk and eliminate organisational/cultural obstacles in pursuing new ideas and corporate innovation” says Jeppe Allert Madsen, Department Head at Sweco A/S.

Annette Lykke Clausen from Lyco Consulting agrees:

“Uganda was a great experience and it definitely made me realise that the continent has enormous potential that will flourish in the coming decades. However, it was also clear that the context of innovation is different and the entrepreneurship at this stage is driven by survival rather than a wish for growing a company.” 

The module in Uganda represented the last international module for this Global E-MBA class, which will graduate in June 2017.