This is how the story gets interesting – and touching for me (not to say the other stories from our clients are any less). At first Sappi bought 10 copies of the book on Amazon to give to its incubatees and to see if it helps in teaching them entrepreneurship.
The result is that the incubatees requested that the book to be part of their syllabus. Thus, Sappi is ordering Township Biz Fastrack from us with each year’s intake.
Many wonderful programs in South Africa empower young people in communities with skills. This is one of them, and one of the best.
They started in 2017 by opening two centres: in Mpumalanga and Kwa Zulu Natal. Already they have trained 80 youngsters.
They use their artisans to teach local youth handyman skills such as electrical, painting, construction and plumbing. They also help the eager ones to set up local service businesses.
A special part of this program and why I say it is the one of the best is that on top of offering artisan skills, they also extend entrepreneurial education. It is good when communities have skilled residents, but it is even far better when those skilled residents execute them entrepreneurially within – rather than waiting for outside employers to create opportunities.
For more information on the training programmes, go here https://www.sappi.com/sappi-skills-centres.
The country needs more people empowered with skills. More than that, it needs people with skills and plus entrepreneurial discernment.
On a basic level, Township Biz Fastrack shows that how businesses are started in townships applies the same great mechanics as even startups in Silicon Valley. I.e.:
- Identifying problems or opportunities and creatively going towards solving them.
- Bootstrapping the growth as no one ever starts with ideal resources. Entrepreneurship is about creatively manoeuvring against lack of resources to achieve a goal that serves people better (this is what innovation is).
This is how townships can be developed, i.e. developing people in townships with skills and plus with entrepreneurship skills.
There is a great opportunity for entrepreneurial innovation in townships.
In the sequel to the Township Biz Fastrack, that is ‘Township Biz Adjacent’, I say: Townships and Ghettos are a Goldmine Favourable to Young Black B2C Entrepreneurs: Understanding the Billion Rands Worth Economy Through the Adjacent Possible Theory.