That South Africa post 1994 is a country alive with possibility is indisputable. That it is also a country lacking in sufficient numbers of entrepreneurially minded individuals is, unfortunately, equally so…
The lessons are practical and experientially learnable. After going through the one-week AgriPlanner course devise by the South African Institute for Entrepreneurship, groups of growers have had their visionof how agriculture works transformed. They have shifted from wait and see to plan and produce and the changes are dramatic. the light bulb has flashed on and there is no turning back now.
The idea of a ‘social profit’ is rooted in the premise of performance-based social investment. Under this paradigm, the work of “non profit organisations”, which is dedicated to achieving a social change agenda, far from being “not profitable” is of extreme social importance – and the “return” they generate on the donors funds they use should be viewed as a social profit.
“The times they are a’changing,” sings the well known song and certainly the training and learning needs in the Agricultural sector are in the midst of a changing environment. No longer is it enough for extension officers to go around and visit and offer their suggestions as to how to improve this or that, or suggest trying some new method, crop or variety.
The validity of experimental methods and quantitative measurements, appropriately used, has never been in doubt. Within the last decade, qualitative methods have ascended to a level of parallel respectability. The field of evaluation has come to recognise that that, where possible, using multiple methods, both quantitative and qualitative, can be valuable since each has strengths and one approach can often overcome the weakness of another.
It seems that education is the key determinant of a country’s future entrepreneurial capacity. In other words, boosting entrepreneurial capacity depends on how well our education system equips young people to start their own businesses.
But it’s not just about degrees and diplomas.