News & Highlights

  • DECEMBER 2021

Case Discussion with Professor Anywhere Sikochi: Harambe

In December, the Africa Research Center hosted a virtual case discussion with Professor Anywhere (Siko) Sikochi on Harambe, a non-profit organization whose mission is to build an ecosystem to identify promising young African entrepreneurs and provide them access to training, markets, capital, and support networks. From 2007 to 2021, Harambe has grown to a network of 367 entrepreneurs, known as “Harambeans.” They have collectively raised over $800 million in capital, created more than 3,500 jobs, and claimed three of the six African startup unicorns in 2021. There is mounting pressure for Harambe to evolve to take advantage of its momentum, the changing entrepreneurship landscape in Africa, and increasing investor interest. Given this, Okendo Lewis-Gayle, founder and chairman of the organization, has been pondering the next steps for Harambe to maximize its impact in Africa.
  • September 2021

Case Discussion with Professor Shikhar Ghosh: Twiga Foods

This September the Africa Research Center hosted a virtual case discussion with Professor Shikhar Ghosh on Twiga Foods, a leading agricultural produce supplier in Kenya offering services to mostly informal retailers. Under Peter Njonjo, a co-founder and Twiga’s new CEO, the company is considering multiple options for expanding its business, including offering packaged foods and services like insurance. Njonjo must also decide the ideal team and organizational structure for supporting Twiga’s growth plans.

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  • SEPTEMBER 2021

Elevating Ethiopian Entrepreneurs

Startup Factory Ethiopia cofounder Thomas Ferede (MBA 2009) explains the mission of his organization—and how the HBS network has helped further its goals. In this video interivew, Mr. Ferede explains how he wanted to create inspirational companies for the next generation of young people in Ethiopia and give people a vision of what business is supposed to be.
  • JULY 2021

Turning Africa's Biggest Challenges into Global Business Opportunities: Summer Fellow Rashveena Rajaram (MBA 2022)

The HBS Summer Fellows Program enables students to apply their classroom training as they explore career opportunities in roles or regions where compensation is generally lower than the traditional MBA level. Read about Summer Fellow Rashveena Rajaram's experience in the Africa developing skills and knowledge while having significant responsibility and high impact.

New Research on the Region

  • 2022
  • Article
  • Scientific Reports

Alleviating Time Poverty Among the Working Poor: A Pre-Registered Longitudinal Field Experiment

By: A.V. Whillans and Colin West

Poverty entails more than a scarcity of material resources—it also involves a shortage of time. To examine the causal benefits of reducing time poverty, we conducted a longitudinal feld experiment over six consecutive weeks in an urban slum in Kenya with a sample of working mothers, a population who is especially likely to experience severe time poverty. Participants received vouchers for services designed to reduce their burden of unpaid labor. We compared the efect of these vouchers against equivalently valued unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) and a neutral control condition. In contrast to our pre-registered hypotheses, a pre-registered Bayesian ANCOVA indicated that the timesaving, UCT, and control conditions led to similar increases in subjective well-being, reductions in perceived stress, and decreases in relationship conflict (Cohen’s d’s ranged from 0.25 to 0.85 during the treatment weeks and from 0.21 to 0.36 at the endline). Exploratory analyses revealed that the time-saving vouchers and UCTs produced these benefits through distinct psychological pathways. We conclude by discussing the implications of these results for economic development initiatives.

  • January 2022
  • Case

Walmart Goes Global (A)

  • December 2021
  • Case

Grace Capital

By: Sara Fleiss, Robin Greenwood, Eren Kuzucu and Denise Han

In March 2020, the global pandemic was delivering a dose of volatility to the U.S. economy. Catherine Faddis, the CIO of Grace Capital, a Boston-based long-only equity manager, analyzed movements in her portfolio while eyeing previously shelved opportunities to invest in preferred stock. The case explores the characteristics of preferred stock, the investment philosophy and strategy of Grace Capital, and the decision making process behind the team at the fundamentals-based investment fund.

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Johannesburg Staff

Pippa Tubman Armerding
Executive Director
Tafadzwa Choruma
Administrative, Research and Program Assistant

Lagos Staff

Wale Lawal
Senior Researcher