Electives Corner : Askhoka Entrepreneurship


LifeCo UnLtd and Ashoka’s ChangeMaker Schools Programme is designed to give budding young entrepreneurs the opportunity to use entrepreneurial thinking and practice to solve social and environmental problems. The programme is designed to foster empathy, critical and creative thinking, as well as teamwork and (self) leadership skills.
Along with Durban High School, there are three other schools participating in the programme; New Forest High School, Verulam and St Nicholas.

The young entrepreneurs had to complete a Double Your Money Challenge where they tested their ideas by using their own capital and trying to double it by the end of six weeks of trading. Reporting back on lessons learnt earned them a spot at an intensive Opportunity Readiness Bootcamp and ChangeMaker Storytelling weekend away in Karkloof. It was during this weekend that the young entrepreneurs honed their business ideas and models, and their entrepreneurial thinking, through a process of practicing, reflecting and refining.
Those young entrepreneurs who exhibited resilience and passion were then selected to pitch their business ideas to a panel of external experts. The panel comprised of Aurelia Albert (CEO of Innovate Durban), Selvan Chetty (Superintendent of Education of the Billy Nair Circuit, managing 200 Schools in Tongaat, Verulam, Phoenix and Inanda), Lindo Duma (Social Entrepreneur and founder of Iziko Stoves) and Maïté Cluydts (LifeCo UnLtd Manager: Impact Advancement). The panel awarded each group a sum of capital to be invested into their social and/or environmental businesses.
The journey so far has been one of trials and tribulations, but most importantly, the young entrepreneurs are learning to build-up the right mix of resilience, thoughtfulness, critical thinking and confidence to not just fail, but to fail forward.
For more information on LifeCo UnLtd, please see:
For more information on Ashoka, please see:
In preparation of the intensive session with the young entrepreneurs, Lifeco UnLtd have shared the panel feedback with them so that they can start thinking through gaps and opportunities in their businesses. Lifeco will be refining the entrepreneurs’ businesses in their next session with them.

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