World-renowned social entrepreneur inspires young entrepreneurs

Annette Willemse -- Fri, 02/20/2015 - 16:47

World-renowned social entrepreneur to inspire

The NWU Vaal's Young Entrepreneur Business Organisation – or YEBO as it is known, will host an Idea Generation Workshop on 23 February 2015 and a Pitch Event on 27 February, which will see one lucky aspiring entrepreneur walk away with R1000. Participants will also benefit from the teachings of world-renowned social entrepreneur, Charles Maisel.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report – issued in 2013, has recognised that South Africa is the second worst performing country in the world in entrepreneurship and innovation. According to the report South Africa has a 14% rate of intentional entrepreneurs amongst 18-24 year olds, yet only 5% are involved in early stage entrepreneurial activity. It was in light of this that YEBO stepped up to the challenge.

The Idea Generation Workshop and the Pitch Event will see Charles Maisel – a world-renowned social entrepreneur facilitating the workshop and discussion sessions.

Charles Maisel YEBO represents a unique student body on the NWU Vaal

More about YEBO

YEBO represents a unique student organisation and its aim is to motivate university students to heed the call of entrepreneurship. According to Mrs Natanya Meyer, a lecturer in the School of Economic Sciences – within the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology, and the coordinator of YEBO, the importance of entrepreneurship is underpinned in the National Development Plan for South Africa. “Entrepreneurship offers an effective method to counteract the crisis of unemployment,” says Meyer and adds that by promoting entrepreneurship as a preferred career choice, the Vaal Triangle Campus is pro-actively shaping the country’s next generation of entrepreneurial giants. YEBO is situated within the bhive Enterprise Development Centre (bhive EDC).

The bhive EDC serves as an incubation facility for entrepreneurship in the Vaal Triangle region as well as the Gauteng province and represents a dynamic collaboration between the Faculty and the Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Development in Higher Education (Nuffic). The bhive EDC strives to be an entrepreneurial change agent to help students to develop and build a sustainable business.

More about Charles Maisel

Charles Maisel can be described as a visionary change maker. His approach to social entrepreneurship is revolutionary –addressing everyday problems with ingenious solutions. Amongst his most famous projects are: Men on the Side of the Road, Shanduka Black Umbrellas, The Stickfighting company, 81 Gangster Museum, HUHO street gyms, Indledlana Rock Roads Project and The Broccoli Project.

He is the founder of the Innovation Shack – a social enterprise hub, which constantly researches, develops, finances and launches new societal entities to address pertinent issues. He hopes that his efforts through the Innovation Shack initiative will inspire the rising generation of entrepreneurial giants to come up with new ideas and unique approaches.

According to Maisel, every entrepreneur should master the technique to turn negative comments into an opportunity by turning it around. This technique is helpful in both personal living and in business and, according to Maisel, it enlightens each day whilst reducing confrontation to a zero.  In terms of entrepreneurship Maisel’s Turn It Around (TIA) can be applied as such: young and upcoming entrepreneurs often have to deal with comments such as “this start-up will never make it”. When you apply the TIA principle you change the comment to “this start-up will really make it”.

What does a pitch involve?

It is estimated that more than 600 000 students are exposed to the South African university network every year, and this relates to a big opportunity for students to take on the world as entrepreneurs.  During an entrepreneurial pitching event, young and up-coming entrepreneurs are motivated to present their business ideas in a safe space. The pitching session encourages young entrepreneurs to share their ideas and to receive much needed feedback as well as ongoing mentorship.  This supportive system will ultimately aid in developing a new wave of innovative entrepreneurs.  During the course of 2015 a total of 100 pitching sessions will be held over a period of 9 months at 14 South African universities – of which the North-West University are a part of.  The pitching process will culminate into an Intervarsity Competition after which a national winner will be announced.

For more information

For more information please forward an e-mail to