About Us

The Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development is a tertiary level Academy that offers an inspiring and innovative programme in entrepreneurial development for young people between the ages of 18 and 30.


The course is offered to young people who are passionate about business and personal development, who have had limited opportunity to access a tertiary education. It aims to empower young people by developing their business and life skills; and ultimately their entrepreneurial mind-set.


Mr. Raymond Ackerman together with the UCT Graduate School of Business established The Raymond Ackerman Academy in January 2005 with the aim to offer youth with financial or socio-economic challenges a chance to develop themselves and to make a difference in not only their own future, but also in the future of their communities. 


The Academy offers a six-month, full time programme that is run twice a year: from January to June and from July to December. The programme is offered in Cape Town at the UCT Graduate School of Business (located near the Waterfront) and at the Soweto Campus of the University of Johannesburg (opened in 2009).


30 students are chosen for the Cape Town course and 40 students for the Soweto course.


The core focus areas of the RAA’s curriculum are to Enable, Teach, and Support participants. The approach is to grow the person, then the business. 


The Academy believes that teaching fundamental business skills is very important however this must be coupled with soft skills development. As such, the curriculum includes various personal development workshops that build confidence, professionalism and interpersonal skills.


Business idea development is an important component of the programme, students are taught techniques that allow them to think creatively and develop or identify innovative business ideas.


The RAA classes are kept relatively small so that each student enjoys individual attention and is observed closely. This allows the Academy to monitor personal and academic progress and to enable students to address any challenges that may be hampering their success whilst on the programme.


"It is the best course ever; it opened my mind to see the broader picture of life".

"Well rounded, touches on everything essential in business; develops individuals and provides a good support base".

"When I came to the RAA everything I knew about business was self-taught. Now I can confidently say that I have been taught to do business properly".

"All I can say for now is just WOW WOW what an awesome experience it was indeed. Go into this with an open mind and don’t be afraid to do your best".

"It was a fantastic experience! I would do it again in a heartbeat and would encourage any young person interested in business to do it as well".

"The course was insightful, enriching and very informative. I have grown during the course and I am proud to say I am a different person now".