South Africa - Johannesburg (Emzingo)

Population facets: 


Partner Organization:  Emzingo

Location:  Johannesburg, South Africa

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates: Determined by site. 

Participation Requirements:

Language & Proficiency Requirement:  None
Gender Requirement:  None
Required Experience:  None
Major Requirement: Open to all majors. Students in the Mendoza College of Business are encouraged to apply to this site. Students who have expressed interest in entrepreneurship may be given preference.
Special Requirements:  In addition to the ISSLP interview and selection process, ISSLP student applicants may need to go through Emzingo’s application and interview process
Other:  None

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 projects)
  • Self Defense Session

Site Description:  

Emzingo is the manifestation of MBA students’ conviction that leadership requires global immersion and vision beyond short-term gain. Emzingo’s mission is to inspire responsible leadership, prepare individuals to tackle global challenges and connect business to society through social impact projects.  In 2010 Emzingo launched the NexGen program with 9 MBA students from IE Business School working with four field partners over seven weeks in South Africa. Emzingo helps leaders prepare for global challenges through programs and tailored advisory services designed to generate long-lasting social impact. Their programs address UN Sustainable Development Goals including poverty and hunger, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, economic development, education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability.

Incorporated in the United States with representation in New York City, Emzingo has staff and/or programming in Madrid, Spain; Johannesburg, South Africa; Lima, Peru; and Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

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.

The South Africa Emzingo ISSLP was initiated in 2015.  Adapted from the NexGen graduate program, the undergraduate experience engages students as consultants and advisors for social impact projects in emerging economies.  Students assist nonprofits and social enterprises with mission critical consulting projects.  These projects help field partners-working in health, education, poverty, and the environment address complex problems.

ISSLP students will be part of a larger cohort of 10-12 University undergraduates from across the U.S.  The larger cohort will be divided into pairs of 2 students with each pair working on a predefined project with a local non-governmental organization (NGO).  Each pair will be determined based upon complementary skills and the needs of the NGO project. NGO project work days will likely be Monday through Thursday with Fridays and 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, take initiative and work in a team environment. Engagement with local communities of poverty, occur through the NGO work.  Students should not expect to be fully immersed in the local community life of townships.

ISSLP 2017 students worked with two different NGO’s. One with Telescope focusing on low-income communities in Soweto. Telescope aims to address South Africa’s most prominent challenges of poverty, inequality, and high unemployment rates through education. Through programing, Telescope is committed to empowering students to lead progress in their schools and developing the confidence and skills needed to serve the greater community. They achieve this through pioneering and providing the resources for activities such as literacy days, science fairs, sports competitions, the design of a yearbook, and other extra curricular activities. Another student worked with a hybrid social enterprise called eduSOIL. It's mission is to nuture the mental and emotional wellbeing of children and adults in South Africa. Work included completion of a Social Business Model Canvas, Marketing and Communication Strategy, and Corporate and School Engagement to help the business achieve growth in revenue, capacity, and impact. Project stages encompassed research, planning, canvas, strategy, and engagement. The strategy was then implemented in the School and Corporate Engagement event, an African education conference, which showcased eduSOIL's program offerings and established key relationships with clients.

ISSLP 2016 students completed a social impact consulting job in the township of Soweto with an HIV/AIDS testing and counseling center as well as an orphaned and vulnerable child program center. Through interviews, home visits, and community research, they created a comprehensive women's education program to address the community's challenges of high HIV rates, teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, and sexual abuse. This site worked in the local community life of townships and interacted with the community on a daily basis.

ISSLP 2015 students completed case studies tracking an NGO’s specific role in helping drive growth and job creation for South African entrepreneurs and provided recommendations, assisted an educationally focused NGO pivoting their business model to make it financially sustainable while maintaining its social impact, and worked with a NGO committed to help improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children though identifying problems and creating comprehensive plans to address need.

Housing & Lodging Information:

The entire cohort lives in U.S. apartment-style settings or in residential housing in a more affluent neighborhood of Johannesburg.  This site does accommodate vegetarian, vegan diets as other than breakfast, students primarily shop and provide their own meals. Shared kitchens are available.

For More Information:

See the official website:

Former ISSLP Participants :

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

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