Frik Landman (CEO of USB-ED), Premier Helen Zille, Dr Rhoda Kadalie (Executive Director of Impumelelo: Stellenbosch Academy for Social Innovation) & Prof Piet Naudé (Director at USB).
The partnership between USB Executive Development (USB-ED) and Impumelelo: Stellenbosch Academy for Social Innovation represents a fundamental shift in South Africa from not only the state but also to entrepreneurs solving social problems in the country.
This is how the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, viewed the partnership between USB-ED and Impumelelo as guest speaker at the launch of the Academy on 10 April 2015 at the Bellville campus of the University of Stellenbosch Business School.
USB-ED is a public company of University of Stellenbosch Business School that delivers management development programmes in the context of the private sector, public sector as well as civil society, while Impumelelo focuses on social innovation initiatives around the country in a variety of development sectors with an emphasis on improving the quality of life of the poor.
Zille welcomed the shift to social entrepreneurship and enterprises with strategic philanthropy that does not only do good, but also creates enterprises that are sustainable to solve some of the problems in Africa.
“The big dilemma in South Africa is to work out and have consensus on what the state is supposed to do and what communities and individuals have to contribute towards development. We have not begun with this debate and the shift at this academy is a shift to get real about this debate.
“We have thousands of NGOs that do good work, but what we need are thousands of good small businesses that are solving problems,” Zille said.
In a presentation at the launch Dr Rhoda Kadalie, executive director of the academy, said that after14 years of identifying and rewarding social innovations, Impumelelo’s database of 457 award winning projects and database of 1800 prize- and praiseworthy projects, has become an invaluable resource for the country and for USB-ED, in particular. It provides a footprint into the incredible solutions social entrepreneurs and social innovators create and promote in poor communities. Impumelelo and USB-ED will create platforms for social innovators to provide accredited training master classes for their peers focusing on enterprise development, food security, sanitation and waste management, maths and science education, early childhood development, HIV/TB health care and housing.
“Impumelelo is a national resource that should reside within a university. It is a platform for corporates, government and civil society to engage with innovation in South Africa. Over the last 14 years, R10.2 million has been raised from a number of corporations in South Africa and distributed via award sponsorships,” Dr Kadalie said.
USB-ED CEO Frik Landman said that Impumelelo: Stellenbosch Academy for Social Innovation brings two very strong brands together, the main purpose being to push social innovation centre stage. This continent is the richest in the world in terms of resources, but also the poorest in many other respects. Somehow we seem to have the inability to turn these resources into wealth for all. It appears to be beyond the wits of government and the formal sector. It is in this space that USB-ED and Impumelelo wants to move into in a serious way. The Eric and Sheila Samson Foundation committed an endowment grant of R2million.”
“We want to capitalise the academy further with knowledge and tools to navigate the golden triangle in the overlapping fields of the social economy, social enterprises and social entrepreneurship – based on a shared ethos of a common good for all.
“We want to influence policy makers, other social organisations, social entrepreneurs, innovators and philanthropists and foundations,” Landman said.