There is a wonderful opportunity for you and I to support a local organisation that is setting the bar in what social enterprises can achieve. Social enterprise organisations unlike charities work for profit. However the profit they earn is plowed back into the community for a range of projects that uplift, up-skill and transform lives.
A few years ago I attended a Symphonia event at the Artscape where they were hosting world renown conductor Ben Zander from Canada. There I was introduced to the art of possibility – the title of Ben’s book too, which I recommend you read. The art of Possibility suggests that we need to think beyond the confines of society’s description of who or what we are to effect and to unlock the passion and imagination within all of us. The process of ‘unlocking’ widens our outlook and allows us to affect change dynamically.
After that event a few years ago, I was able to chat to the lady behind Symphonia and Partners for Possibility, Louise van Rhyn.
Over the years I have chatted a her on a few occasions so I do have an impression of her as an individual. What stands out is undoubtedly her passion for our country, and the possibilities that it houses for many to make a difference.
Unfortunately making a difference means getting out of one’s comfort zone.
So many speak about wanting to transform but are unwilling to stick their neck out to do just that…
One has to be incredibly fearless when you follow your calling to be a transformative agent, or to advocate for a transformative agenda and narrative.
The financial pressure alone can be such a deterrent that it scares many, but not for Louise – her tenacity and vision has lead her and South Africa to this point.
We now have a social enterprise that has global accreditation. Why the big deal you may rightly ask? Well, what the accreditation means is that the organisation – Partners for Possibility- can quantify the impact of their social investment. This empirical evidence can be leveraged to garner further partner investor support. Moreover it also illustrates the steps they have taken to transform education outcomes for under resourced institutions…plus it could also be used as a global model.
The idea is strikingly simple: using inter sectoral collaboration they seek to strengthen partnerships to effect great leadership in schools, which in turn snowballs to better and more effective performance it the classroom, with the ultimate winners being the learners.
Business leaders are sourced to work alongside school principals in an attempt to improve the function of the school as an organisation…this then explores the types of leadership that motivates and inspires others. Collaborative, inclusive, innovative and courageous.
Partners for Possibility’s model continues to grow…a few years back they were working with over 300 schools. As of this week, when I spoke to Louise they are now working with 750 schools. A clear indication that what they are doing is improving education.
You can support them by voting them in the annual accreditation competition run by UK based company Social Enterprise Mark. Partners for Possibility is the only organisation representing Africa and outside of the UK that has been short listed as one of finalists.
In a strange twist of fate Louise has been booked to speak at the event when the winner will be announced later this year.
It will be wonderful that her organisation also takes the plaudits thanks to our efforts.
Vote for them via Social Enterprise Accreditation Authority – Social Enterprise Mark . Voting closes on the 4th of May.