I’m very excited about a project running at the moment, as summarised below. Full disclosure: It’s funded by my company, Thornhill, so I may be biased!

The idea is a modern alternative to initiation – a way in which school leavers could be introduced to the attitudes, ethic and life skills required to be an effective employee and citizen. The programme, for thirty school leavers, began this Friday with a weekend away in the Magaliesberg, and then runs for two weeks at GIBS (a business school).

The first few days have gone very well, with the participants committed, excited and learning lots. I particularly enjoyed hearing about some excellent spontaneous poetry in response to the weekend away.

A huge congratulations to Sarah Tinsley, Lanier Covington and Jonathan Cook for the concept and for making it all happen. This is also unlikely to be the last time the project runs, so I’m excited about it having a very useful impact on the lives of many high school leavers. Obviously, there’ll be a need for more volunteers to scale it all up, so anyone interested please drop Sarah a line — see contact details below.

Some further information:

“In terms of absolute numbers, of the close to 8 million unemployed people in the South African labour market, just over 5.5 million of these individuals are between the ages of 15-34.”

South Africa Addressing Youth Unemployment – the Most Pressing Post-Apartheid Development Challenge for Youth. Prepared by the Youth Development Network (YDN) 24 June 2004

What is BizSchool?

BizSchool is a pilot programme that is going to be run for 2008 Matriculants who do not have any study or career plans or goals for 2009.

What is the goal of BizSchool?

To try and assist Matriculants who have no study or career plans by:

· Creating a self awareness of their individual skills and talents

· Teaching them basic life skills for entering an adult world,

· Giving them knowledge of career and study opportunities

· Teaching them basic small business and entrepreneurship skills

· Inspiring the participants with hope and encouraging them to dream

· Giving them the knowledge that there is a purpose for each of their lives and to encourage them to take responsibility for their lives.

At the end of Biz School each delegate will leave with:

1. A personal budget

2. A bank account

3. A personality profile and career suggestions for future study and work

4. A mission statement, goals and an awareness of how to achieve their goals

5. A testimonial from the Biz School team

6. A CV

7. A knowledge of how to start their own small mini company

8. Various life skills and work skills

9. A peer accountability group and a mentor

10. An email address

What is the format of Biz School?

The programme for Biz School is a 15 day programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science and a three day camp.

Through a variety of seminars, individual and group activities, self reflection exercises, adventure based activities, simulation, debates, use of psychological tests, panels, multi-media, outings, peer counseling and mentoring we hope to achieve the above goals.

When is BizSchool going to take place?

· BizSchool Camp: Friday 28 November 15h00 to Sunday 30 November 16h00.

– Monday 1 December to Friday 12 December 2008. 08h00 – 17h00 each day.
Where is BizSchool going to take place?

· Gordon Institute of Business Science, 25 Melville Road, Illovo, Sandton.

· The camp will take place in Magaliesburg.

How can I help?

We are looking for people to:

· Teach/facilitate topics that interest them in the BizSchool programme

· Lead small groups

· Mentor the delegates

· Assist with the camp

· Assist with transport

· Sponsor or part sponsor a delegate: The programme costs R3000 per participant.

· Sponsorship and funding of programme materials, entrance fees on outings, transport costs, lunch each day etc

· Telling matrics who could fit the criteria for BizSchool, about BizSchool and encouraging them to apply.

Where do I sign up?

Please contact Sarah Tinsley on 0823745535 or [tinsleys at] for more information.

2 thoughts on “BizSchool

  1. This is a fabulous idea that has much merit. I’ve seen similar programs work with great effect in Europe over the holiday periods.

    Their curriculums range from advanced lessons in typical school subjects to lifestyle and life skill courses, business skills included.

    In addition, such initiatives could expose school-leavers to a field they wanted to know more about, thereby increasing their interest and encouraging them to study it further.

    Hats off to you guys for starting this. Wish you all the best and many future Schools, be they Biz or otherwise.



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