Making a change

We’ve come to the part of the course where it’s time to start making plans for what comes next. All this time we’ve been empowering our participants with the information they need to make meaningful change, but now it’s time to put it into practice. So today was Social Entrepreneurship day, where we discussed how they could be entrepreneurs for social change.

We started the morning writing personal mission statements for the change they want to make. They came up with missions from cleaning the oceans to body positivity to creating educational opportunities for girls. Since they had determined their “what,” we followed the exercise with a guest speaker, Kwanele Prince, a UWC alum and local business consultant. He emphasized the “why”—encouraging everyone to be clear on why they would like to solve their selected social issue. He gave us a framework within which to consider what it takes to launch a startup, and taught us how to distinguish between a social entrepreneur and an ‘ordinary’ entrepreneur.

By the afternoon, it was time to get to the “how”. We had a series of rapid workshops, each of which were designed to get a project off the ground. The workshops covered pitching, rapid prototyping, business & personal branding, and relational leadership. By the end of the session, everyone had the tools they needed to actually get a project up and running.

After dinner, we switched gears completely for our Cultural Show. It was a celebration of pure joy and jubilation. The Madiba Hall echoed with the sound of music, laughter, and cheers. We have a wonderfully creative group of participants who brought their hearts and their talents to the stage. There was spoken word poetry. There were hymns and opera. There was dance. There was theatre. There was stand-up comedy. There was even some amazing juggling. We ended the evening with a full-throated group rendition of “Shosholoza kulezo ntaba…” whilst mingling, hugging, smiling, and enjoying the last few moments of the course. It was bitter sweet, and the tears flowed freely. But we still have one more day of memories left to make.