The University of Johannesburg’s new MBA will be helping South Africans build sustainable businesses that create jobs.

The Johannesburg Business School (JBS) is launching a new MBA programme designed to equip entrepreneurs, small business owners and innovators with the skills they need to grow small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The MBA will open its doors in 2020 and will focus on three areas of knowledge — self, enterprise and environment — that play a significant role in developing well-rounded, business-savvy individuals capable of building high-growth companies.

The three areas of knowledge have been constructed specifically to inspire those in SMEs  and to give them the tools they need to take their ideas forward, realistically. ‘Self‘ provides insight into purpose and self-management, ‘enterprise‘ gives an understanding of what it takes to run a successful and sustainable business, and ‘environment’ looks to how business operates in society.

JBS will use an innovative new teaching style that’s designed to provide students with relevant skills, knowledge and critical thinking capabilities suited to the challenges introduced by the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).

The MBA covers a myriad of topics customised to give owners and senior managers in SMEs what they need to know today, as well as in the future, to grow their businesses. Just some of the topics that will be covered are: how to win in the marketplace, how to use technology to accelerate the business, accounting, cutting costs through effective operations and supply management, operating in the existing economic environment , the benefits of ethical business practice, and building an internal culture that keeps staff and employees engaged . The core content of the MBA addresses some of the key issues that influence employee decision-making — ethics, culture, contribution to society — and ensures that students are capable of using these factors to the benefit of the business, its employees and society.

JBS MBA students can tailor their learning with a choice of relevant electives that can be taken either at JBS, or at one of JBS’ international partner schools. The programme is designed to liberate students’ potential by developing their self-confidence, giving them tools to achieve worthwhile results, and by helping them grow their professional networks.  To achieve these objectives students will be guided by coaches and mentors who will work with them to build the bridge between the new knowledge gained on the MBA, and the knowledge of what is having a bottom line impact on the businesses for which they work.   Some may ask, “Is this the MBA for me?” It is, if you are looking to start, grow or scale a business, or if you consult to established SMEs. It is also an excellent fit for senior managers who work in high-level roles in SMEs and family-owned businesses.  If you work for a large corporate and plan to climb the corporate ladder then this is not the MBA for you. The JBS MBA is for those who are passionate about getting improved results in SMEs.

To qualify for the MBA, applicants need a four-year qualification, or equivalent, with an exit point at NQF Level 8 – such as a Bachelor’s degree plus a postgraduate diploma. Applicants must also have at least four years of appropriate work experience.   Applicants with outstanding career records can also enter into the programme without the requisite academic qualifications through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route. More details are available online at the JBS website. Entry into the MBA is a competitive process. Successful applicants will be those who meet the selection criteria and who are deemed to be the best fit for the purpose of the JBS MBA.

The JBS MBA is a different and fresh approach to business education. JBS is committed to providing relevant, practical knowledge and skills for SMEs that will have a positive impact by creating employment and contributing to economic growth in South Africa and Africa. The JBS MBA will be like no other.  If the outline given above appeals to you then you should contact JBS and see how you can be part of next year’s inaugural MBA Class.