A letter from our newly appointed chairperson - Bruce Chidi

Publish date: 2017-05-10

As I wrote this letter, I started to reflect on the journey BizSchool has undertaken. The organisation has evolved since its inception year, growing from strength to strength and touching more lives with each Programme. This December, BizSchool will be hosting its tenth BizSchool December Programme. It will mark ten consecutive years of empowering young South Africans to become resilient, responsible and productive members of our society.

It is truly a humbling honour to be just the second Chairperson in our young history. I am humbled by the confidence the BizSchool Steering Committee (Board) has in my leadership capabilities. We owe our successes to the stability and direction provided by the Steering Committee under the leadership of my predecessor, Jonathan Cook. The legacy his leadership gave this powerful organisation exhibits its core ethos and commitment to its mission. 

Over the past years, BizSchool has formed close partnerships with companies such as Thornhill and the Gordon Institute of Business Science – whose unfailing support we continue to appreciate. We have also made such strides as hosting a series of Career Road Shows/Programmes, forming collaborations with Barclays Africa to hold our first ever BizSchool Student Programme (in 2015) and, now for the second consecutive year, running the JB Marks exit workshop. 
We are blessed to have formidable supporters contribute to our past and current successes.
These include:
Graduates/Alumni: since the program’s inception in 2008, Alumni have been offered the opportunity for further involvement and mentoring. They are also afforded the opportunity to give input on potential improvements at alumni meetings throughout the year. Alumni want to see the organisation grow so that BizSchool can be a reputable organisation to include in their CV’s.

Our enthusiastic and passionate volunteers: volunteers provide staffing for different events throughout the year. These are mostly past participants who are willing to volunteer their time to ensure current participants receive the same meaningful experience they got. Other volunteers are various professionals who donate their time to be speakers or provide input at BizSchool programmes or mentors as a part of the mentorship program. Our volunteers are the backbone of the organisation, and their will to make a positive contribution in our society sustains are very existence as an organisation.

We have partners in local high schools and NGOs: high schools and NGOs provide us with the participants, for whom our programmes are designed. Furthermore, like us, high schools and NGOs want to see their students succeed, which will help to improve its statistics of students who are employed after matriculation

Current Investors/Donors: Current donors are made up of individuals and a few companies. Most donors believe strongly in BizSchool’s mission and want to maximize impact in the community by expanding the program.

Where to from here:
BizSchool has an essential and well-delivered product that has proven itself over the years; however, to maximize our impact on the community, BizSchool needs to grow and expand its programmes by addressing the following areas:
•    the recurrent problem of securing sustainable funding,
•    the lack of awareness for the brand beyond a core group,
•    Full time staff and directors to expand the programme.
The vision granted by Jonathan Cook is to reach 60 000 participants by 2026. To achieve this milestone, we will need 1200 classes, 1200 programme director slots 9600 leaders (at group sizes of 6 or 7) 24000 volunteers (at 20 per class, or 1:2 ½  ratio to participants) and maybe 1000 venues. This will require us to double our intake of participants each year. Creative thinking, collaborations and positive responses are all indispensable in making this possibility a reality. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all who have been part of the BizSchool experience to promote the organisation, offer your support in any way that will contribute to its growth and to direct us in the way of potential partners and supporters.

Bruce Chidi - BizSchool Chairperson


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