Each and every one of IE Business School’s programs is designed to help students drive positive impact, not only in their chosen fields, but also to make the world a better place.

3 min read

At IE Business School, we believe social responsibility is an important part of any successful business. With this in mind, students from our Marketing, Communication & Sales programs and the Master in Talent Development & Human Resources programs recently completed their Social Impact Week in Cape Town, South Africa

Social Impact Week gives students the opportunity to participate in purpose-driven projects in a global business hub. It enables students to see learnings from their program applied in the real world, grow their network and expand their global perspective. This time, South Africa, as the gateway for investment in Sub-Saharan Africa and the continent at large, hosted IE Business School students looking to make a positive impact. 

Over the week, students met business leaders, policymakers and local IE Alumni, as well as visiting top companies to see how they operate. Students also developed a social impact project for an actual client, leaving their mark on Cape Town. What’s more, students had the opportunity to learn about the African region and what makes it unique, while making a difference.

The Social Impact Immersion week in Cape Town was an unforgettable, insightful experience. I highly recommend this life-changing opportunity.

Pamela Gonzales, Master in Talent Development & Human Resources 

To kick off the week, students were introduced to their projects and then gained an understanding of Africa from the Director of IE Africa Center, Eniola Harrison, before learning more about South Africa’s economic and social context from Wesgro. They also learned about social and community entrepreneurship with local students at the University of Cape Town. 

Making the most of the local business landscape, students visited South African NGO WeThinkCode_, the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, AB InBev and Ogilvy, as well as Babylonstoren and Vida e Caffè as a case studies of South African business success.

Each day, students had time to work on their social impact projects before presenting them at the end of the week at WeThinkCode_. Of course, there was also time to explore the natural wonders of South Africa such as Table Mountain, Robben Island and Boulder’s Beach. The week culminated in a speech from the General Consul of Spain and a networking session. 

Noah Grabe, a Master in Strategic Marketing and Communication  student, describes the trip as “a testament to experiential learning,” as it allowed him to translate his classroom experience into real-world uses. For example, working with WeThinkCode_ enabled him to witness the complex socioeconomic fabric of the city.

Beyond this, eating a paella at the General Consul of Spain’s house and visiting world-renowned marketing agency Ogilvy were highlights from the trip

Similarly, Teddi Teopaco who also studies the Master in Strategic Marketing & Communication says that Social Impact Week opened her eyes to how “marketing can do more than just sell—it can make a positive different to people’s lives.” The experience has changed how Teddi perceives her own skill set and will allow her to go on to drive positive impact in her career and community. “This experience has shown me the true potential of using our skills for good,” she explains.

The Social Impact Week in Cape Town was a profound journey, meticulously prepared and rich with learning experiences that will stay with me forever. The insights I gained and the connections I made are invaluable. I wholeheartedly encourage others to seize this incredible opportunity in the future.

Andrea Mancheno, Master in Talent Development & Human Resources 

Applying their learnings to the real world is an invaluable opportunity for IE Business School students. As they finish their programs and go on to pursue their professional goals, their experiences in Cape Town will continue to inspire them and inform business decisions. In addition, being able to go beyond the IE Community and immerse themselves in another corner of the world is an opportunity like no other which improves their cross-cultural communication and enhances their world view.