South Africa Business
BUS 477: Special Topics – Social Enterprise in the 21st Century City
BUS 477: Special Topics – Accounting for Social Enterprises.
Harold Tessendorf MA. MSc; Dept./School-Management: Stetson-Hatcher School of Business.
Stephanie Morris, MACC, CPA; Dept./School-Accounting: Stetson-Hatcher School of Business
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Service Project Description:
There are 14,000 homeless individuals in Cape Town with 7,000 of these being chronically
homeless. The dominant social service paradigm employed by the South African government, faith-based charities and NGOs is disjointed and uncoordinated. It also has the unintended consequence of stigmatizing the homeless instead of addressing the structural and unique roots of their homelessness.South Africa’s persistent high unemployment rate drives the chronically homeless even further to the margins of society.
Streetscapes has been serving the chronically homeless for the past two decades.In response to the dominant social service model, Streetscapes has created a holistic model that goes further than the Housing First model from the United States. The Streetscapes Project combines safe housing and customized psychosocial services with social enterprise to address the employment needs of its chronically homeless clients. The Streetscapes project currently includes small urban gardens and a small farm in the Kuils River area of Cape Town.
Our 2024 project will build on the baseline research and recommendations which were made by the Mercer on Mission teams that worked alongside Streetscapes staff and clients in 2022 and 2023. These recommendations have informed how Streetscapes has made its flagship social enterprise – its Urban Farms Program – more effective and efficient so that its increasing sales revenue can ensure Streetscapes’ sustainability.
The 2024 Mercer on Mission project team will once again work alongside Streetscapes staff and clients to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the Urban Farms Program as a locally-grown and organic enterprise.The team will pay special attention to the recommendations made in 2023, evaluate the extent to which they could be implemented, and measure how much they increased Streetscapes’ revenues.The Mercer on Mission team will work with Streetscapes to modify these recommendations.Once again, these recommendations will be evaluated by how well they meet the Triple Bottom Line of financial viability, social impact, and environmental sustainability.
What Students can expect:
- Intensive class work at Mercer starting May which introduce students to the concepts and analytical tools that they will use in South Africa.These will be further refined in South Africa.
- In-country cultural awareness and teambuilding in a cross-cultural setting.
- Hard, but rewarding, work analyzing critical social enterprises before making, presenting and explain written recommendations that set the stage for future work.
- Exposure to innovative approaches to tackling unemployment and homelessness.
- Some educational sight-seeing opportunities (conditions permitting) including two World Heritage sites – Table Mountain and Robben Island, the Cape of Good Hope where the south Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, District Six, and penguins.
Tentative travel dates
Class and travel dates to work in Cape Town are Tuesday, May 14th, 2024 returning to Atlanta around June 8th, 2024.
Application website for MOM South Africa Business Program: Click here
Photos Courtesy of Streetscapes
For more information, e-mail MercerOnMission@mercer.edu or call (478) 301-2992.