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IRENE I SEE research network
Research focus on social enterprises
IRENE I SEE explores issues around social economic empowerment based on concrete examples in the areas of economics and political science, sociology, and urban studies. Within the network, the research of six doctoral students at different universities is supported and supervised.
Social enterprises under the microscope
The University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) is a leading provider of internationally accredited postgraduate management degrees and executive education in South Africa. The business school has all three international accreditations: AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. USB has been rated in the A category for business schools with major international influence by Eduniversal, a Paris-based ratings organization. And the Aspen Institute in the United States has ranked USB on its “Beyond Grey Pinstripes Top Global 100 Schools” list for promoting social and environmental sustainability.
USB provides tomorrow's business leaders with world-class qualifications that will serve them well in South Africa, the rest of Africa, and the world. The business school places emphasis on leadership development, which forms a core theme in all its academic programs.
Research project “An integrated approach to micro and small enterprise development as a tool for socio-economic empowerment in South Africa”
Alfred Mbekezeli Mthimkhulu empirically investigates the critical factors that contribute to financing problems for small- and medium-sized enterprises and compares how government agencies and non-governmental organizations work to solve these problems. In economies with high levels of social and income inequality, micro and small enterprises are seen as tools for social and economic transformation.
The research focuses on South Africa. It empirically investigates the critical factors that lead to financing problems for macro and small enterprises and compares how government agencies and NGOs work to overcome these issues. The study also explores if and how an institutional framework for social enterprises can improve efficiencies in providing support for the development of micro and small enterprises.
Alfred Mbekezeli Mthimkhulu was a teacher first before becoming a stockbroker in 2000. After working with three Zimbabwean brokerage firms as an executive through 2007, he realized that financial markets in developing countries are disconnected from the real economy and have little interest in financing the backlog in the private and public sectors. His graduate studies have been motivated by the desire to understand how to foster the growth of the middle class and nurture good governance in Africa. He has a B.Com Honours in finance from the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo and a master’s degree in development finance from the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa.
Prof. Meshach Aziakpono is a professor of development finance and head of the Development Finance Programme at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). Before joining USB, he was an associate professor of economics and coordinator of the masters program in financial markets in the Department of Economics and Economic History at Rhodes University in South Africa. Prof. Aziakpono has worked as a consultant for the OECD Centre and African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), among other organizations. He is a member of the Academic Board of the Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA) in Cape Town, South Africa, and was a visiting scholar to the International Monetary Fund. Prof. Aziakpono has vast experience in teaching and supervising at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is a member of several international and local professional associations, including the Academy of Economics and Finance in the United States.