…to the GIBS Social Entrepreneurship programme for 2017! I’m so excited and can’t wait to start.
Social entrepreneurs identify challenges in society and devise innovative solutions for the greater good whilst turning a profit at the same time.
It is not up to government only to uplift South African society. It is up to every South African to make a difference, and social entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity in our country. With the NDP requirement for creating 5 million jobs by 2020 it is clear that traditional ways of thinking and doing things are no longer enough.
We live in an ever-changing world, characterised by complexity, increased usage of technology, and feedback loops that travel at mach-speed.
Even though these are challenges, they are also levers that clever social entrepreneurs can use to make positive change in South Africa.
Case-studies cite Nobel Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank, the bank for the poor as the most famous social entrepreneur. I have not met him but I have met a few social entrepreneurs who are making a difference in South Africa.
Like Thato Kgatlhanye from Rethaka whom I met in 2014 when she did the opening keynote at a conference and kept everyone enthralled for close to an hour on how she came up with idea of making Repurpose School Bags, and how she executed on her vision.
She found an innovative solution to a uniquely South African (and African) problem. The bag is made from fabric made out of plastic, and it contains a solar cell which charges as the children walk to school and back home again. At night they take the charged solar cell and insert it into a solar jar, providing light for them to be able to study.
Even though the South African government has done a good job of electrifying large part of the country since 1994, there are still many communities that do not have the benefit of electricity. Using candles or oil lamps can be a fire-hazard. In addition to providing light, she has found a safe solution for school children to benefit from. The solar cell does not have any USD ports to ensure that it is used for its intended purpose – study.
I will keep you posted on what I get up to.