International Development Project

International Development Project (IDP)

For the first time ever, EBF is initiating the International Development Project 2023-2024! This project will focus on conducting research in a foreign country for a period of two weeks, followed by two weeks of traveling across the country on your own terms! The destination of this pilot will be the beautiful country of South Africa. For this trip, a group of 15 highly motivated CV-selected FEB students, 1 professor, 1 board member, and 6 committee members will travel to South Africa to conduct research on sustainable development and to explore the country in May 2024 (2nd of May - 31st of May).

The research in South Africa will be carried out in collaboration with Stellenbosch University and according to the Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations. Stellenbosch is a beautiful university town in South Africa’s Western Cape province, approximately 50 km's from Cape Town. This mountainous town is known for its vineyards, student life, and rich history. This year's research theme is Sustainability, (Multi) Value creation and social entrepreneurship where we aim to fully delve into exploring sustainable business models in a global context. For the purpose of the research you will be split up into groups which focus on specific aspects of the research proposal. 

To prepare you for the journey, you will attend a course (5 ECTS) dedicated to this project to fully equip you with the skills necessary to conduct your research in smaller groups during block 2.1. During the two weeks of research in Stellenbosch, you will collaborate with local students from the Small Business Academy of Stellenbosch University in focus groups. Moreover, you will visit the HIV/AIDS Centre and the Sustainability Centre to gain all information necessary for contextualizing the research. You will complete the course with a final presentation of your research by the end of the second research week. This means you will not have to worry about course deadlines during your two weeks of free traveling. More information on this course can be found on Ocasys via: https://ocasys.rug.nl/current/catalog/course/EBB144A05

Your IDP adventure begins on Monday the 2nd of February 2024. There will be weekly mandatory course lectures for 7 weeks followed by dinners and socials every Monday, until we depart for South Africa. After we return to the Netherlands, we will finalize the entire project during a celebratory closing dinner in Groningen. 

The total participation fee is set on €995, including: the flight to and from South Africa, accomodation (incl. breakfast) for the first two weeks, and transportation costs for the first two weeks. After the first two weeks you embark on a South African adventure of your own design and budget. 

In sum, the International Development Project offers you the unique opportunity to gain experience in conducting international research, earn 5 ECTS, boost your CV, develop your skills and make many new friendships!

DONATIONS

We, as a committee, are working really hard on getting funds from companies and subsidies but are also reliable on voluntary donations. In order for our students to be able to conduct their research in Stellenbosch, they need to raise money themselves as well. And that is where you might come in! We would therefore highly appreciate the gesture of a donation, big or small, in order for us to continue with the research project. All the money donated will be used only for the research part of the project. 

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Course Details

To prepare you for the journey, you will attend the course Social Empirical Research in Emerging Countries (5 ECTS) dedicated to this project. The lectures of the course will take place in block 2.1 with weekly lectures from 17:00-19:00. During the first two weeks of research in South Africa you will finalize your report for this course, as well as present the findings in a colloquium to Stellenbosch stakeholders and local students. During this course you will also be conducting interviews, participate in focus groups, and have discussions with local social entrepreneurs to ensure that you are properly prepared for South Africa. 

IDP workload

In block 2.1 there will be a lecture (5-7pm), dinner (7-9pm) and a social (9pm onwards) every Monday, which you will be expected to attend. The dinners and socials are a great way to get to know everyone. Next to these activities, you are expected to actually prepare your specific research together with your subgroup, which will mostly be done during the preparatory phase of the trip. In total, IDP will cost you about 5-10 hours per week.

Research Background

In today's world, the concept of sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the realm of business. Companies around the globe are recognizing the need to adopt practices that not only generate profit but also contribute positively to society and the environment. Our research aims to explore how entrepreneurs, especially those in small or family-run businesses, can integrate sustainable and socially responsible practices into their business models.

In this research, sustainability is understood in its broadest sense. It encompasses not only environmental aspects, but also the social and economic dimensions of business operations. This involves considering the long-term impact of business decisions on society and the planet, and finding innovative ways to create value that goes beyond financial gain.

To delve deeper into this theme, the research will be segmented into three distinct subgroups. Each subgroup will investigate specific aspects of sustainable business models and social entrepreneurship, linking back to the overarching theme. Through lectures, workshops, and hands-on research, participants will develop the skills necessary to conduct thorough business research, create theoretical frameworks, and conceptual models. Collaborative discussion sessions will offer opportunities for feedback and refinement of ideas.

The final outcome of this research can be used as comprehensive advice for companies on how to incorporate sustainable practices, which will be shared with participating businesses. 

IDP 2024 Research Outline

MAIN RESEARCH THEME: EXPLORING SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MODELS AND SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT

The research in South Africa will be carried out in collaboration with Stellenbosch University and according to the Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations. During the research portion of this project you will have the opportunity to facilitate focus groups, interviews, and engage in meaningful conversations with local social entrepreneurs. 

Our research aims to answer these three research questions: 

● How can a social entrepreneur create more sustainable business options by including ideas from their existing network (stake and share holders) in the business activities 

● How can a social entrepreneur create (new) sustainable business options by looking for ideas of new partners  and stakeholders  outside the existing network?

● How can the change towards multi value creation  help social entrepreneurs to create new  options for sustainable business?

In sum, the International Development Project offers you the unique opportunity to gain experience in conducting international research, earn 5 ECTS, boost your CV, develop your skills and make many new friendships! 

Do you want to join us in South Africa and be part of this adventure? The IDP committee will recruit 15 motivated and enthusiastic students in block 1.2 (exact recruitment dates will be updated soon). Applications will be open for all 2nd and 3rd year Bachelor students and (pre-)Master students of the FEB.

Did you miss the information meeting about IDP, but are you still curious about what this journey will entail? Please e-mail to internationaldevelopmentproject@ebfgroningen.nl to receive the slides with all the information.

Thank you very much!

Any questions? Feel free to send an e-mail to: n.schulte@ebfgroningen.nl

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