Edinburgh Business School celebrates African graduates' success
Edinburgh Business School will mark the achievements of its long-standing presence in Africa with a celebration event for graduates scheduled to take place on February 8th.
The event will see 200 graduates from across the continent gather in Johannesburg. Edinburgh Business School has been offering executive education in Africa since 1990 and currently has 3,760 students with a further 2,000 alumni from its MBA programme.
The event will also celebrate the first 23 graduates from the African Scholarship programme launched and funded by Edinburgh Business School in 2010.
The scholarship scheme is the largest of its kind; offering 250 people in Africa a fully-funded place on the Edinburgh Business School distance learning MBA (Master of Business Administration) programme.
The scholarship programme, which was established in 2010 by Edinburgh Business School, has enabled applicants from across Africa to gain access to advanced management skills and expertise, helping them to effect change in their organisations and communities.
The flexibility of the distance learning MBA has also enabled students to continue working while they learn, implementing their new knowledge and skills in the workplace immediately.
Professor Keith Lumsden, Academic Director of Edinburgh Business School, the Graduate School of Business of Heriot-Watt University, said: “Edinburgh Business School has been active in Africa for over 20 years and to celebrate this long standing relationship, we established The Africa Scholarship Programme in 2010.
“We are very proud to recognise and celebrate all of our graduates today. They emerge equipped with skills that will enhance not only their own lives but also the wider communities around them.
“All of the people we are recognising at today’s event have worked hard to secure their MBA’s and will no doubt go on to achieve great things.”
Graduating student Simon Peter Kavuma from Uganda, said: “Receiving the scholarship was a life changing event, and it’s difficult to see how I would have studied for the MBA without it.
“My MBA studies have led to career progression and possibilities that would have been impossible without it”.
Recently appointed Deputy Chief Finance Office at Citbank Uganda, Kavuma believes that the MBA was an important factor in securing the new position.
Graça Machel, leading educationalist and wife of the late Nelson Mandela, commented on the scholarship programme.
She said: “Scholarship programmes offer a wonderful opportunity for students from all over Africa to learn, gain and share invaluable technical, managerial and leadership skills, as well as obtain recognised qualifications.
“These skills are vital in our future leaders. I hope that as the Edinburgh Business School scholars graduate, they will continue to develop leadership which promote the conditions for the full exercise of citizen’s rights including equity and dignity for all.”
In order to apply for a place on the MBA programme, students must be a national or resident in a sub-Saharan African country, have a university degree and at least two years of full time work experience. You can find out more here www.ebsglobal.net/africa
For further details and guidance on how to apply to The African Scholarship Programme please visit www.canoncollins.org.uk/edinburghmba.html
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.