Thursday, May 24, 2007

Our Team

Welcome to our blog for The Botswana Project. We hope to use this site to keep you all updated on our progress. Please stay tuned!

Our team includes the following members of the USC Marshall community:

Amitesh Aggarwal, MBA Class of 2008
Deborah Kimball, MBA/MD Class of 2008
Tyler Monroe, MBA/MRED Class of 2008
Geoffrey Phillippe, MBA Class of 2007
Mark Roberts, MBA/MRED Class of 2008
Raphael Anderson, BS Class of 2008

Faculty & Staff...
Dave Belasco - Professor, USC Marshall Lloyd Greif Center
Lida Jennings - Director, Marshall MBA Program

The Announcement

We are pleased to announce a unique initiative at the Marshall School of Business: The Botswana International Schools Project.

The USC Marshall School of Business and Think Tank Thuto, a not-for-profit organization devoted to creating educational excellence in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), have partnered to develop a comprehensive business plan for two international schools in Francistown, Botswana. Under the leadership of the Diocese of Botswana and with support from the Ministry of Education, these new schools are intended to set the bar for education in Southern Africa by operating as innovative, highly functional, and sustainable institutions. The two schools will cover primary and secondary education and will serve both those who can and cannot afford to pay for this type of education.

With the generous financial support of the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, five MBA students and one undergraduate business student will be traveling to Botswana under the leadership of Professor David Belasco and Lida Jennings for a two-week site visit. While in Botswana, the Marshall team will visit many sites, including a range of existing primary and secondary institutions, the planned sites for the new schools, and the University of Botswana. Throughout the site visit, the team will meet extensively with the local taskforce and government officials overseeing school development and construction. The students will also spend time with leaders at existing institutions and local families with school-age children to better understand the needs and interests of the local consumer. The feasibility, interviews, and research conducted in Botswana will be followed by classroom instruction, workshops, guest speakers, and assignments geared toward building a successful long-term plan for the schools. The end result of the project will be a formal business plan for the two international schools, written by the Marshall team and presented to the Bishop of Botswana, Reverend Trevor Mwamba, during his next visit to Los Angeles.

The business plan will serve as the foundation for Think Tank Thuto’s future fundraising efforts. All monies raised will fund the construction of the Botswana International Schools. According to Bishop Mwamba, this business plan will be used “as a strategic document to educate and sell the concept to potential donors and stakeholders.” (March 27, 2007)

This tremendous opportunity was made possible by Annelize Bester, founder of Think Tank Thuto and graduate of the Marshall School of Business; M.C. Gill, honorary trustee of the University of Southern California; and Jim Ellis, Dean of the Marshall School of Business. Leadership within Marshall has been provided by Professor David Belasco of the Lloyd Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies; Lida Jennings, Director of the Marshall MBA Program; and Janice Nishiyama, Associate Director of the Keenan MBA Career Resource Center, in collaboration with Ms. Bester.

The following six Marshall students have been selected to participate in the Botswana International Schools Project and will be traveling to Botswana on June 5th, 2007:

Amitesh Aggarwal, MBA 2008
Deborah Kimball, MBA/MD 2008
Tyler Monroe, MBA/MRED 2008
Geoffrey Phillippe, MBA 2007
Mark Roberts, MBA/MRED 2008
Raphael Anderson, BS 2008

In addition to the team members listed above, Stephanie Ip and Justin Campbell, members of the MBA Class of 2008, will be contributing to the project upon the team’s return from Botswana.

Supervised by Professor Belasco the graduate students will receive academic credit upon successful completion of the business plan and presentation. Additional support for their work will be provided by the Marshall MBA Program and Think Tank Thuto.

For additional information, please contact Lida Jennings at 213.749.9635 or or Janice Nishiyama at 213.740.0160 or