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New Member Spotlight: Stanford Seed, Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies

Institutional Profile

 Stanford Seed, Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies



Stanford Seed is a Stanford Graduate School of Business initiative that partners with entrepreneurs in emerging markets to build thriving enterprises that transform lives, with the ultimate vision of ending the cycle of global poverty. The program was established in 2011, implemented in West Africa in 2013, in East Africa in 2016, and expanded to India and Southern Africa in 2017.

Dean: Jonathan Levin

GBSN Ambassador: Darius Teter, Executive Director

Network Engagement

Seed is improving access to management and entrepreneurship education in developing and emerging markets by offering the Seed Transformation Program to established, growth-minded entrepreneurs in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and numerous countries throughout the African continent. This 12-month leadership program is delivered on-the-ground and on location at participants’ companies (virtual in 2020 due to travel restrictions). 

Institutional contributions to the network platform in the first year

At Stanford Seed we are keen to share our experience in delivering management training to founders and CEOs of SMEs in emerging markets, in person and remotely, and to learn from business schools that are similarly engaged in executive education in these markets. We are also ready to share our theory of change, and what we have learned about tracking the impact of our programs in terms of revenue, job growth, capital raise, and contributions to the SDGs. 

Institutional engagement with fellow GBSN member institutions

We hope to learn from our counterparts and share insights from our own discoveries. We are also interested in the possibility of collaborating with others who share our mission.  

“We are excited to join GBSN’s dynamic global network, to learn from the experience of others providing business and management training in emerging markets, to share our own experience, and to explore opportunities for partnerships.” – Darius Teter, Executive Director

The biggest challenge facing management in your community and how the institution addresses this challenge.

The biggest current challenge for both our entrepreneurs and ourselves is universal. The current health pandemic has had a significant impact on business globally and our entrepreneurs are no exception. In the midst of this severe health and economic crisis, Seed is restructuring how we support our more than 800 partner SMEs across Africa and India to ensure they survive and thrive. Seed is offering a wide range of assistance including remote mentoring and coaching, frequent webinars on business continuity topics, an expanded pool of pro bono consultants, and new online programming focused on innovation and opportunities arising from the changing business landscape. The student internship program has shifted from in-person to 100% remote, with 70 Stanford students interning at 50 companies around the world. We are also working to connect Seed companies with sources of funding, a critical need for SMEs across the globe.

Program Highlight: The Seed Transformation Program

The Seed Transformation Program is a yearlong, on-the-ground leadership program for established founders and CEOs in emerging economies focused on growing their businesses and increasing the positive impact they have in their communities. 

808 entrepreneurs and 2970 team members from 20 countries have received training and mentorship from Seed. 

Initial outcomes show that 64.4% increased their revenue, 61% created new full-time jobs, 58% expanded into new geographies, $224M USD in capital has been raised. Beyond metrics, Seed believes that thriving enterprises will drive long-term ripple effects on people, policies, markets, and economies.

GBSN promotes the expertise and interests of our members by providing a platform to communicate news and open opportunities to global audiences and share how they are innovating in management education to the benefit of their colleagues around the world. The New Member Spotlight series serves as a way for new member schools to introduce themselves to the network.