Problems can turn to money spinners for all

2017-08-03 06:01
KasibiztalkMandla Mahashe

KasibiztalkMandla Mahashe

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Mandela Month ended earlier this week.

Nelson Mandela was great man who had done a lot to fight for the liberation of South Africa, we have him and others to thank for the freedom we enjoy today.

He has had his detractors, after all, he was human like the rest of us, but his work to improve our society cannot is beyond doubt.

Today lets take a closer look at people whose work involves the greater good of society and made a business of it.

It is called social entrepreneurship. But what is social entrepreneurship? The text book definition is that social entrepreneurship is the use of techniques by start up companies and other entrepreneurs to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues.

Simply put, it is the art of making money while also making a change. There are many locally owned businesses that have adopted this model and are really making inroads in addressing societal issues.

In my opinion the biggest and most successful example of this is ICT business Silulo Ulutho Technologies.

On the one hand, the business addresses the societal problem of scare computer skills and unemployment by training locals and giving them access to refurbished computers which are often cheaper, while also generating revenue for the business when learners pay for classes and buy the gadgets.

Learners graduate and go on to obtain employment while the business grows because it gains popularity and thus revenue.

By this, the scarcity of skills was the problem and Luvuyo Rhani identified this and sought solutions.

In the process, he is also making money for his business.

Another example is that of Khayelitsha DJ and entrepreneur Siyabulela Sophi who has organised a strong team around him.

They make and sell clothing material such as caps and t-shirts under the label Makhaza Lifestyle, but what gives them the edge is that they occasionally host career exhibitions and self development dialogue sessions in schools in the area.

In essence, the business is selling merchandise but they have a strong social network base in these sessions.

The last one is the story of Tshabalala from Langa who used his time behind bars to learn the techniques involved in computer programming.

After his release, he founded an NGO called Brothers for All, and is teaching youngsters-the majority of which are young women from difficult backgrounds- the system called Coding. If you are tech savvy, you appreciate the effort.

These learners then go on to work in some of the biggest companies in the country because there is a skills shortage in the tech space.

After running the NGO for two years he has now launched a digital agency called Quirky30, that will continue with the training of young people but now conducts digital marketing and web development for companies with a keen interest in small businesses and NGOs in the townships.

So the business helps train youngsters but also generates income from its corporate clients.

We can learn a lot from people who see problems as challenges and come up with solutions to solve the.

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