Two university graduates that felt disappointed looking for a voluntary project in Cape Town, founded the knowledge2share foundation in 2015. They came to the conclusion that, with respect to the high fees (up to 2000 Euros for 2 week excluding tickets) and hire, anyone who is willing to pay the fees, were mostly teenagers looking for a holiday. Secondly, the reviews of most of the volunteering projects indicated that most of the volunteers were not actually challenged to apply their knowledge, or made a sustainable impact.
After a successful pilot project two years ago, they currently send ambassadors to Cape Town, four times a year. Each project consists of five weeks. Four ambassadors are sent to Cape-Town. The first four weeks, the ambassadors give workshops on how to build a business plan using the business model canvas. There is a lot of emphasize on the creativity and innovation entrepreneurship, something they realized is especially important, in the townships of Cape Town.
“We collaborate and rotate among different NGO´s. All students are selected by the NGO´s based on their intrinsic motivation. We finalize the project on the fifth week with a pitch day, in which students are asked to pitch their business plan. The aim of the pitch is to train their commercial skills and make sure that they are always ready to present their business when they meet potential partners or investors” according to Victor Dik, an ambassador from Knowledge2share Foundation.
At the current project, the ambassadors collaborate with Masicorp, Chrysalis Academy and Life Choices. At Masicorp and Chrysalis Academy the ambassadors give the regular program using the business model canvas. At Life Choices, however, ambassadors help owners of a start up to improve their business. The main difference is that all the entrepreneurs at Life Choices have existing businesses, while many entrepreneurs at Masicorp and Chrysalis Academy have an ambition and idea to implement a new business.
“Holding workshops is very challenging, as you meet such a variety of new people with different backgrounds and education levels. The students are all very motivation and eager to build their own business and help their community. This is also something we emphasize on in the first workshop; an entrepreneur is someone who isn’t afraid to fail and doesn’t give up. An entrepreneur is able to provide a job for himself but also for his community” said Victor.
“We are currently also working on continuity of the project. We experienced that only giving the workshops is not enough, and that many entrepreneurs still have many questions, or need advice after the ambassadors leave. Fortunately, social networking allows us interaction with the entrepreneurs. All of our ambassadors are so exited about the entrepreneurs and the entire South-African culture, we are sure that we can provide many more projects in the future” finished Victor Dik.