Earlier this year I applied to the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) to study their course in social entrepreneurship.
It’s a phrase that smacked of jargon, and one which I felt I probably knew enough about anyway – I set up a social enterprise (unsuccessfully) in South Africa, so it wasn’t an entirely new concept.
But with the possibility of an Anglo-funded bursary through Tshikilulu Social Investments, I wrote my application form, attended my interview - and was accepted.
It is nearly a year later. We wrote our final exam on the weekend, and my brain is full of ideas.
The course has been life-changing.
I changed my job because of it and will probably change again because of it.
In fact, who knows, as it has turned what oddball career plan I had, upside down, shook it some more and then batted it out the stadium.
I find that I am swimming upstream. I have ideas swirling in my head that go against the grain in nonprofit world.
I’m not saying mine are right, but being able to think differently is invigorating.
Being able to justify and reason my thinking with back-up from the Harvard Business Review - well! It’s such a change, tackling that frustration I believe we often feel in the nonprofit land, when you’re operating on instinct and can’t really justify why you’re saying you should do what you believe you should be doing.
The course has taken me through things I know, to things I thought I knew and didn’t know and then completely into the realm of discovery and adventure.
I find I can see ahead. My crystal ball is a lot less blurry and now has things like visions and missions in it.
I can see how things are going to be. Funding is tight, partnerships are essential and we have to be innovative.
This is exciting. It doesn’t scare me like it would have before. I think we have an opportunity to reshape our civil society to be more autonomous, independent, more vibrant in short less scared, bullied and threatened by failure.
All this is because of a course at GIBS - the academic heart of grey suits and capitalism?
Believe me. It’s worth it.
I’m not the one making this change.
It’s GIBS which is creating the space for change.
I encourage as many people as possible to sign up - the more they attend the course, the more change we’ll see in our world. As Harvard Business Review so eloquently puts it, we need a movement with momentum to create change.
So to adopt a capitalist cliché, just do it.
For more on the course, click here.
If you’d like to chat about the course, please get in touch - email@example.com.
- Kerryn is the Director: Communications and Income Development at Child Welfare South Africa. This is written in her personal capacity and in no way reflects the views or approach of the organisation.