South Africa - Cape Town

Population facets: 

Partner Organization: Notre Dame Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa (ND ESSA)

Location:  Cape Town, South Africa

Number of Students:  2 or more students

Dates: June 12 - July 22, 2022

In person opportunities summer 2022: Yes

Virtual opportunities summer 2022: No

Additional information:
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, if we are unable to deploy students in person, students will not be obligated to complete the ISSLP and may withdraw without penalty. For students wishing to continue with the ISSLP in virtual mode, ISSLP staff will work with them to be placed with a virtual international service option.

Participation Requirements: 

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:  None
  • Gender Requirement:  None
  • Required Experience:  None. But having a creative, entrepreneurial mindset is desirable.
  • Major Requirement:  None. Open to all majors.
  • Student Minimum Age: Recommended for students between sophomore-junior or junior-senior years
  • Special Requirements:  In addition to the ISSLP interview and selection process, ISSLP student applicants will need to go through ND EESA’s interview process. Also, students must complete pre-departure training via EESA’s on-line, self-paced training program during the spring semester, which includes topics on culture, economy, history, social context, religious traditions, and township context of South Africa plus issues related to entrepreneurship.
  • Other:  Students spend 6 weeks in South Africa

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment: (The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the spring semester. Additional training sessions may be added as needed.) 

  • HIV/AIDS Training (if working in HIV/AIDS related enterprises)
  • Self Defense Session

Site Description:   

The Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa program (EESA) is offered by the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame in collaboration with the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, and the University of Florida, University of Colorado and Texas A&M University in the USA to provide training, coaching and mentoring aimed at students working with historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs in their very early stages. EESA participants will develop an understanding of the challenges and barriers to success encountered by small enterprises that are generally: undercapitalized; lack market leverage; do not have deep knowledge of business “specialty” support functions such as accounting, law, finance, marketing or advertising; and lack economies of scale or scope. The program focuses on applying a model of how the small enterprise can meet these challenges in order to create a sustainable competitive advantage and long-term value.

Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival/engagement.

This site will be in person for summer 2022.

This section reflects the most recent scope of work for students who deployed in the last few years to South Africa. This scope of work may change based on the needs of the organization at the time of student arrival and/or due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The undergraduate experience engages students with social enterprises in local communities in Cape Town, South Africa.  Through this structured consulting engagement, students work with emerging entrepreneurs working in various sectors such as arts and crafts, catering, to community newspapers and small manufacturing operations. Some of these ventures are unregistered, more are underfinanced and each has distinct needs and opportunities. The common trait among these business owners is a dream that their ventures will achieve sustainability and growth.

ISSLP students will be part of a larger cohort of 28 U.S.-based and 20 South African  university participants drawn from the University of Western Cape in South Africa and from the University of Florida, University of Colorado and Texas A&M University in the USA. Students will be divided into teams of 4-5 with each group working with two emerging enterprises.  Each group will be determined based upon students’ skills, experience, and interests and the needs of the emerging enterprise. Coached by three professors, the teams are expected to solve problems and implement solutions hand in hand with the entrepreneurs. Project work days will likely be Monday through Fridays with parts of the weekend spent together as a cohort in training and learning modules, and additional social/cultural and community events. Students will need to be flexible, able to deal with uncertainty, take initiative and be highly adaptable to working in a multicultural team environment. 

Housing & Lodging Information: 

The entire cohort lives in a dorm at the University of Western Cape.  This site does accommodate vegetarian, vegan diets. Students primarily shop and provide their own meals. A communal kitchen is available.

For More Information:

Visit ESSA website

Contact Dr. Michael Morris


Notice: Certain sites may be canceled and other sites added at any point during the selection and orientation process.

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Upcoming Events

October 2021

Application Close | ISSLP 2022
Monday, October 25, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm
Information Session | SSLP 2022
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 7:00pm
Postgraduate Service Lunch | Alliance for Catholic Education
Friday, October 29, 2021 - 11:30am to 1:30pm

November 2021

Information Session | SSLP 2022
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
Getting Something to Eat in Jackson
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
Mini Postgraduate Service Fair
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Taste of PATH
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 7:30pm
Information Session | Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor (PSIM)
Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 8:00pm to 8:30pm
Dignity and Justice Workshop
Friday, November 12, 2021 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
Catholic Social Tradition (CST) Minor Brunch
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 11:30am
Higgins Film CLASSics | Blue Collar (1978)
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 3:00pm
Virtues & Vocations Presents Howard Gardner: What is Good Work?
Monday, November 29, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

December 2021

Signs of the Times Brown Bag Lunch Series | Housing
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 12:00pm
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm