Karin Fuchsloch, founder and CEO of Career Planet, is a social entrepreneur – one of those rare people who know how to combine innovation, resourcefulness and opportunity to address critical social challenges. Trained as a graphic designer, her career led her into various learning materials development projects.
A stint in the corporate world left her hankering for something more meaningful, which is when she took the plunge and launched Career Planet in 2007 with money taken from her bond.
Today her business is a not-for-profit virtual company employing ten staff members who connect young people with life changing opportunities and offer career advice, bursaries, learnerships, internships, and jobs. She has been able to monetise it through advertising revenue and partnerships with big companies.
“I started Career Planet after seeing how unprepared young people in the Western Cape were to enter the world of work,” she says. “I wanted to make a difference to the huge unemployment rate in South Africa because it is the most pressing socio-economic problem and brings with it poverty, crime, violence and loss of dignity.”
Fuchsloch says her work experience had shown her the value of training and development and how technology can bring people together. “I realised that there was no centralised and accessible resource where people can find career advice and job opportunities and this made me determined to come up with an innovative way of bringing all of this together.”
As Career Planet is an online offering, it was important for her to take it to areas where Internet access was limited. That’s how the concept of mobile units was born – trailers take 20 or so PCs out to schools, churches,
community centres and anywhere where there are young people who want to know more about what to do with their lives.
In 2011 she partnered with the DG Murray Trust and with their support she was able to develop a sophisticated new website, mobi site and USSD phone application. Now Career Planet is able to offer a host of opportunities as well as free e-learning to youth across South Africa.
Player: Karin Fuchsloch
Contact: +27 (0) 21 447 4661, www.careerplanet.co.za