Inspiration from Tjaart

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Written by Beverley Basson, TSiBA Education

Picture: left to right: Tjaart Theron, Sithembile Malinga, Javier Guzman

Five years ago I was introduced to Tjaart Theron through a mutual friend. He had a vision for supporting the development of talented youth in South Africa by collaborating with youth in Europe to raise the kind of scholarships that organisations like TSiBA and Study Trust offer. I was not totally clear on what his plans entailed but was inspired by Tjaart’s imagination, enthusiasm and his passion for making a difference.

Much has happened since our first encounter and since the launch of the socionext foundation ( in 2010. But this morning that initial vision became realised as I attended the group presentations of the TSiBA Innovation-3 class and witnessed first-hand the powerful journey that the socionext social entrepreneurship programme has set our students on.

After only 5 weeks of intensive thinking, co-creating, being daring and many hours of hard work, the audience was treated to an inside look into the 5 businesses that the TSiBA students have started. Their business ideas were original (thanks especially to Charles Maisels!) and their presentations included feedback on marketing & costing strategies, financials and key successes and challenges. I’m impressed that so many of the businesses have the potential to become sustainable enterprises and that the students managed to get so much done in such a short period of time – but that is what entrepreneurial business leaders do and what both socionext and TSiBA are all about.
The income generated by the enterprises will go to supporting a scholarship for a student and many of the businesses used the social angle of “profit for a purpose” to garner business.
I am in awe of Tjaart’s dedication to his original vision and of the determination with which he has pursued it. TSiBA is deeply appreciative of his generosity and of how he has run the pilot socionext challenge while managing the time constraints and other hurdles that arise when trying something brand new.

We look forward to many more collaborations and contributing to the realisation of the socionext vision: “To see the societal challenges faced in the 21st century jointly and proudly solved by all of the world’s young entrepreneurial talent and an ever-expanding network of support and expertise.”

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