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CIDA City Campus: Taddy Blecher

Taddy Blecher has created innovative ways to motivate and educate PDI students

Entrepreneur

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Taddy Blecher of CIDA

The rise and rise of CIDA City Campus isthanks largely to the irrepressible energy of its founder, Taddy Blecher (CIDAstands for Community and Individual Development Association). Blecher believesresolutely in the innate potential of every human being. “Poverty is a functionof the fact that people haven’t been taught how to solve problems. If wenurture every person’s talent, teach them how to create something from nothingand encourage them to lead lives of humanity and dignity, we could address somany social ills,” he says.

This philosophy fuelled Blecher’s drive toestablish CIDA. Having opened in 2000, the Campus now educates up to 3 000students each year and boasts several hundred graduates who have foundemployment in SA’s leading firms. The Campus has also expanded significantly,spawning a host of foundations, funds and academies aiming to help studentsfrom previously disadvantaged backgrounds further their education. Impressive it may be, but Blecher admitsthat CIDA’s progress had its hiccups.

“Naturally, there were many barriers toestablishing an institution that offers low-cost, technology-based education ona par with the country’s finest universities.” The answer to many of these obstacles layin innovative thinking. For example, to reduce administrative costs, Blecherintroduced a system whereby students assist with running the institution, workingin the kitchens, offices and libraries – in fact, anywhere help is required.

“Not only have we managed to save millionson administrative costs, we’ve also created a system that encourages studentsto take ownership of their campus. More than this, the tasks they undertaketeach them skills which eventually add up to work experience,” Blecher says.The institution also used creative thinkingto get past problems associated with access and funding. “Since most of ourstudents matriculated from disadvantaged schools, many have poor academicrecords. We’ve established bridging courses, vocational courses and academiesto ensure they still have access to further education, and to help them findjobs.“Funding has been boosted throughpartnerships with our corporate donors, whom we repay in kind, withscholarships for employees, free training or PR. We’ve also establishedfundraising foundations in the UKand US, and virtual foundations in Bermuda, Canada and Germany. Then there’s the CIDAInvestment Trust, which owns – partially or wholly – 10 businesses. The profitsof these companies are put back into the Campus.”

CIDA’s culture of lateral thinkingpermeates every aspect of its functioning, including the curriculum. “One ofour primary goals is to create a culture of entrepreneurship, and we encourageinnovative ideas,” Blecher affirms.This is supported by facilities like TheBranson School of Entrepreneurship at CIDA, established by Sir Richard Branson.In addition to implementing mentorship programmes and incubator support, theSchool has set up CIDA Seed, a R4 million fund to provide seed capital forstudents with sound business ideas.CIDA has also taken its spirit ofentrepreneurship beyond the Campus, thanks to the Nelson Mandela Extranet Programme.This initiative sees students taking their knowledge back to their communities,converting venues like halls, schools and churches into classrooms where theyteach the principles of entrepreneurship. “We’ve reached thousands of childrenthis way,” says Blecher.His quest to improve CIDA is unceasing inthe face of continuing challenges. “We have to ensure that CIDA maintains adynamic staff who believe in the vision. That means building a place wherepeople enjoy working. We also have to keep up to date with governmentrequirements and legislation, such as accreditation. The biggest challenge, ofcourse, is securing long-term sustainability, which is why we’ve establishedour various funds and trusts.”Despite these potential stumbling blocks,Blecher would change nothing about CIDA. “Establishing the Campus has been afantastic journey. We will overcome whatever challenges come our way throughinnovation, hard work, passion and our deep belief in the vision. We will nevergive up.”

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27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

Here are 27 of South Africa’s richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.

Nicole Crampton

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Learn the secrets of SA’s most successful business people, here is the list of the 27 richest people in South Africa:

In a world with growing entrepreneurship success stories, victory is often measured in terms of money. The feat of achieving a place on this list is, however, years of hard work, determination and persistence. “One has to set high standards… I can never be happy with mediocre performance,” advises Patrice Motsepe.

From the individuals that made the 27 of the richest people in South Africa list, actual entrepreneurs and self-made business people dominate the list; while those who inherited their fortunes have gone on to do even bigger and better things with their wealth. Over the years, some have slipped off the list, while others continue to climb higher and higher each year.

  1. Elisabeth Bradley
  2. Sharon Wapnick
  3. Bridgette Radebe
  4. Irene Charnley
  5. Wendy Ackerman
  6. Paul Harris
  7. Wendy Appelbaum
  8. Mark Shuttleworth
  9. Desmond Sacco
  10. Giovanni Ravazzotti
  11. Markus Jooste
  12. Gus Attridge
  13. Gerrit Thomas Ferreira
  14. Cyril Ramaphosa
  15. Adrian Gore
  16. Raymond Ackerman
  17. Michiel Le Roux
  18. Lauritz Dippenaar
  19. Jannie Mouton
  20. Stephen Saad
  21. Patrice Motsepe
  22. Allan Gray
  23. Koos Bekker
  24. Ivan Glasenberg
  25. Christoffel Wiese
  26. Johann Rupert
  27. Nicky Oppenheimer
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Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

South Africa needs more entrepreneurs to build businesses that can make a positive impact on the economy. These up-and-coming black entrepreneurs are showing how it can be done.

Nicole Crampton

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Early-stage South African entrepreneurial activity is at an all-time high of 11%, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and entrepreneurial intentions have also increased to 11.7%. With both activity and intentions growing significantly year-on-year, there are more businesses opening up around South Africa than ever before.

The increase in entrepreneurship has seen the rise of more black entrepreneurs across numerous sectors. From beauty brands to legal services and even tech start-ups, these are 50 top black entrepreneurs to watch:

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Watch List: 50 Top SA Small Businesses To Watch

Keep your finger on the pulse of the start-up space by using our comprehensive list of SA small business to watch.

Nicole Crampton

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Entrepreneurship in South Africa is at an all-time high. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), total early-stage entrepreneurial activity has increased by 4.1% to 11% in 2017/2018. This means numerous new, exciting and promising small businesses are launching and growing.

To ensure you know who the innovative trailblazers are in the start-up and small business space, here are 50 of South Africa’s top establishing companies to watch, in no particular order:

  1. Livestock Wealth
  2. The Lazy Makoti
  3. Aerobuddies
  4. Mimi Women
  5. i-Pay
  6. AfriTorch Digital
  7. Akili Labs
  8. Native Décor
  9. Aerobotics
  10. Quality Solutions
  11. EM Guidance
  12. Kahvé Road
  13. HSE Matters
  14. VA Virtual Assistant
  15. Famram Solutions and Famram Foundation
  16. BioTech Africa
  17. Brand LAIKI
  18. Plus Fab
  19. LifeQ
  20. Organico
  21. 10dot
  22. Lenoma Legal
  23. Nkukhu-Box
  24. Benji + Moon
  25. Beonics
  26. Brett Naicker Wines
  27. Khalala
  28. Legal Legends
  29. The Power Woman Project
  30. Aviro Health
  31. AnaStellar Brands
  32. Data Innovator
  33. Fo-Sho
  34. Oolala Collection Club
  35. Recomed
  36. VoiceMap
  37. ClockWork
  38. Empty Trips
  39. Vula Mobile
  40. SwiitchBeauty
  41. Pineapple
  42. The Katy Valentine Collection
  43. OfferZen
  44. KHULA
  45. Incitech
  46. Pimp my Book
  47. ART Technologies and ART Call Management
  48. Prosperiprop
  49. WAXIT
  50. The Sun Exchange
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