Student Testimonials

“Both clients looked directly at each of us and said we had made a difference for them and their business. As impactful as we may have been to these entrepreneurs, I believe the work we have done here has been even more impactful on myself. Never before have I been so inspired and entrepreneurially motivated to do more. The good we have done feels real, and the things I have learned will absolutely be transferable to my own life."

Josh Gravely, University of Florida

“I cannot believe the EESA program has come to an end. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it. It was an exceptional experience and I am infinitely glad I got to be a part of the program. Also, the other day I got to actually walk hand in hand with one of my entrepreneurs. Athenkosi took me to the mall outside of the gates of Philippi. We are about to cross the main road and he took my hand so we would not get separated. I just remember you telling us to walk 'hand in hand' with our entrepreneurs. The fact that I actually got to do it was amazing.”

Elizabeth Cherf, University of Notre Dame

“I just wanted to take a moment to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything. You, the entrepreneurs, and my classmates have inspired me and taught me so much about myself and the world. This experience has pushed me out of my comfort zone in more ways than I thought possible and I am so grateful for the chance for growth and finding strength in myself. Thank you so much for this opportunity to change lives and make an impact on this world.”

Alexis Grubman, Colorado University

“I want to thank you for an amazing trip. I really learned so much in such a short amount of time. I was doubting my capabilities at first, but now I believe I can do anything.”

Mia Stauffer, University of Florida

“I wanted to express my gratitude for your teachings this summer in Cape Town. I feel that I have learned more about business practices and structure in the past few months than my entire college career prior to that experience. Through my time spent in South Africa, I realized that I want to be able to do more of what we did there with my life. I enjoyed the challenge of the everyday and when asked upon exit if I would do that again, I knew that I would.”

Jacqueline DiGiorio, University of Florida

“My team worked with two clients, both previously disadvantaged women entrepreneurs. One client owned a hair salon and the other owned a health store. These clients were very talented and hard-working, but they lacked the resources and business skills to grow and sustain their business. Working with the clients, we were able to implement significant improvements in the business, including a simple bookkeeping system, improved store layout, pricing, and inventory management systems and marketing materials. I now see entrepreneurship in developing countries as a key means of poverty reduction and empowerment.”

Lawren Sinnema, Syracuse University

“In six weeks I learned so much, both personally and professionally. I was faced with a new challenge each day. I underestimated the impact this program would have on me and my goals. Thank you for this opportunity to work alongside such passionate people and to be able to do such meaningful work.”

Fernanda Barboza, University of Florida

“EESA is the most unique, amazing, frustrating, nerve-wracking, and empowering experience I have had. The name truly says it all—Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa—but you don’t know what that means until you’ve completed the program. You arrive excited and confident, only to realize that you have no idea what you’re doing. But that’s OK; you have an amazing group of professors to teach and guide you; to show you that you know more and can do more than you ever thought possible. You can help these entrepreneurs and you will become an entrepreneur too.”

Chana Kreuter, University of Florida

“Seeing the smiles on our clients’ faces is something that I will always remember. To know that in just six short weeks, four young adults could make such an impact is amazing. The experience of achieving somewhat seemed impossible has given me confidence.”

Jarrod Schilling, University of Florida

“I feel like I had a positive impact on the lives and businesses of my clients, and I can honestly say that my clients impacted my life as well. I was pressured to simplify everything I’ve learned in textbooks and place it in a practical context. I was forced to work more closely with peers than I ever have before. With a more results-oriented focus, I gained confidence in my ability to adapt to different businesses, cultural and social settings. I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and consulting, but more importantly, I developed a new perspective on and sensitivity toward the world around me.”

Alison Bussett, Santa Clara University