This 7-day Harvard course ‘for the rich’ costs R860,000 – here’s what a similar course costs in South Africa

A number of universities around the world now offer impact investing courses, investments that are designed to benefit society as well as turn a profit.

Arguably the most well-known programme is a joint course run by Harvard and the University of Zurich, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, called “Impact Investing for the Next Generation.”

Bloomberg reports that participants had to pass an interview before paying up to $12,000 (R178,446) for a week of classes in the US and Switzerland, not including airfares and board. A more intensive related course costs $58,000 (R862,489).

The program has barely been advertised since its founding in 2015 and word is spread through old-money networks and among European royalty.

Alumni include Chung Kyungsun, grandson of Hyundai Group’s founder, and Antonis Schwarz, who came into his fortune aged 16 when the drugmaker his grandfather founded was sold for 4.4 billion euros ($5 billion).

“The graduates represent a quiet insurgency among the world’s wealthy millennials,” Bloomberg reports.

“As their peers march to protest climate change and inequality, these privileged few are arming themselves with the skills and arguments they need to convince their families – often against bankers’ advice – to make more “impact investments” that are designed to benefit society as well as turn a profit.”

UCT business school 

The University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business currently offers an ‘Impact Investing in Africa’ course.

As part of the course, wealth managers, consultants, funders, lawyers and other financial intermediaries will gain an understanding of the rapidly emerging field of impact investing and its ecosystem globally – with a specific focus on Africa.

“Delegates will be given tools to develop impact investing strategies, analyse opportunities and engage with clients about socially responsible investments.

“They will participate in case study based workshops led by a diverse group of leading experts in the field. By the end of the course, they will be able to take their first steps to realise the potential of impact investing for their clients and institutions.

The course runs for five days and costs approximately R18,900. Course alumni include delegates from the following organisations:

  • Bowman Gilfillan;
  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer Inc;
  • Government Institutions Pension Fund;
  • Investec;
  • Allan Gray Orbis Foundation;
  • Nedbank;
  • Old Mutual;
  • Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Association;
  • Public Investment Corporation;
  • Standard Bank;
  • Tshikululu Social Investments;
  • Mineworkers Investment Company.

You can find out more about the course here.


Read: Solidarity is launching a R4.5 billion project – including an alternative Afrikaans school system and university

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This 7-day Harvard course ‘for the rich’ costs R860,000 – here’s what a similar course costs in South Africa