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The Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED) bridges a critical gap in global efforts to address prosperity around the world by focusing on the private sector as the engine for sustainable growth. Our goal is to transform the lives of people in poverty—on a massive scale—through innovation, entrepreneurship, and the scaling of businesses.

» Learn more about SEED's pathbreaking approach to stimulating economic opportunities in developing economies.

This year's Stanford Africa Business Forum focused on building and scaling businesses across the continent.


Stanford Researchers

SEED’s research goal is to advance general knowledge through the study of entrepreneurship; product and service innovations that serve the poor; and the growth of firms in developing economies.

Social Networks and Economic Activity: Opportunities and Challenges in Developing Economies

SEED research panel exploring the role of social networks in economic activity.

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Stanford Students

Opportunities to support SEED's mission to alleviate poverty around the world are available to Stanford students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

» Learn more about Student Programs

Stanford Africa Business Forum

This year's Stanford Africa Business Forum was held April 11th and focused on scaling businesses across the continent.

Clare Akamanzi, COO of the Rwanda Development Board

Keynote speakers included Jean-Louis Ekra, President and Chairman of the African Export-Import Bank in Egypt; Clare Akamanzi, COO of the Rwanda Development Board (see picture above); Patrick Bitature, Chairman of Simba Group, East Africa, and Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur Pieter de Villiers, originally from South Africa.

Ghanaian and Nigerian business owners participating in SEED's West Africa Transformation Program visiting Stanford

Panelists also included companies participating in SEED's West Africa Transformation Program.

Volunteer with SEED

SEED volunteer business coaches spend up to one year in Africa where they immerse themselves into the local business ecosystem and coach a portfolio of companies in general management.

Coaches engage with African executives on business topics and challenges with the goal of transforming companies into industry leaders and job creators. Coaches work closely with African companies to formulate goals for growth and to develop and help implement strategies that will lead clients to a successful transformation.

Leverage Your Skills as a Business Leader and Advance Economic Opportunities in Africa.

What motivates SEED volunteers? Find out in this video.

» Learn how you can volunteer your expertise