Since my start at TSiBA, I have worked on several projects assiting with the solidification of key partnerships. I now see that the, the Ignition Centere’s (IC) work in 2012 is coming to fruition. Until now, due to business sensitive information and unconfirmed commitments, I was unable to share about these partnerships. This year, the University of Stellenbosch (USB) and Business Partners have agreed to work with TSiBA.
To enhance their mission to support Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) and community empowerment through entrepreneurship, USB created a new initiative called the Kyaplain Project. The university will utilize alumni from its business program to mentor entrepreneurs from the Kyalitscha and Mitchell’s Plain townships. Their mentorship will supplement several weeks of accelerated business classes supplied by TSiBA’s IC. As indicated in this article, USB is one of the most prestigious universities on the continent; therefore, the partnership is ideal for TSiBA. Although, TSiBA and USB’s partner is also advantageous for USB because TSiBA is a leader in teaching accelerated courses to survivalist and mirco enterprises.
Like TSiBA’s IC, Business Partners also works to support South African entrepreneurs. However, Business Partners works on a much larger scale and they specialize in capital investments more than business education, compared to TSiBA. As demonstrated through this Prezi I created, TSIBA and Business Partners will work together to increase TSiBA’s service offerings by use of Business Partners mentors, an Small Medium Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) software toolkit, and capital donations for student company awards. The Prezi also shows what TSiBA’s core program activities are and how entrepreneurship is implemented throughout the degree program.
TSiBA’s BBA degree has three stages of entrepreneurship courses: Entrepreneurship 1 (ENT 1), Entrepreneurship 2 (ENT 2), and Innovations and Knowledge Management 3 (INN 3). Initially, Business Partners wills collaborate with TSIBA’s ENT 2 class. Later, the Ignition Center hopes to have Business Partners work closer with other core activities like the TSIBA/Northeastern University community engagement program. Each summer NU comes for two weeks to TSiBA to assess the businesses of community entrepreneurs while learning more about the South African cultural context. Ideally, Business partners can potentially incubate several of the feasible business models in their hatchery.
Both partnerships have great potential for expansion and will probably last several years to assess the success of the collaboration. I certainly came at a good time to network with other organizations cultivating entrepreneurship in the South African economy. I have not consulted as many businesses as I anticipated, but I have instead spent most of my time writing proposals, creating presentations, and meeting with community partners. The diversity of my work has allowed me to hear many narratives about the South African entrepreneur’s experience, which I find invaluable.