To create awareness for the development of Entrepreneurial Mindset among the youth and the unemployed of the economically disadvantaged communities (EDC) in South Africa, estimated at nearly 30% of the total population (14 million), the CEO of StreetBiz Foundation, dr Nico de Klerk, completed this walk of 2 750 km (1 708 miles) from Pretoria to Cape Town. It took him just about four months and he visited 104 communities in commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s legacy and 100th birthday celebration.
During these visits to 104 communities, workshops were held with the youth and the unemployed. Participants used Knack mobile phone games to identify entrepreneurial traits. Meetings were also held with local community and religious leaders to build up relationships and create awareness of StreetBiz Foundation on local level.
The long-term vision of StreetBiz Foundation is an online business school for entrepreneurship. The emphasis of this online school is helping the youth and the unemployed change their mindsets and develop basic business skills development. The Long Walk was a symbolic act and created awareness for the unexplored potential for entrepreneurship in South Africa.
Research on the entrepreneurial mindset was done during the Long Walk and was supported by the SocioNovus programme at the University of Stellenbosch and various international academic researchers and institutions.
Partnerships were established with SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency), the South Africa Day initiative, University of Stellenbosch (SocioNovus Programme), Knack and some others. StreetBiz Foundation is a Non-Profit Company.
The Long Walk project was supported by local as well as international individuals:
- Ndaba Mandela, Ambassador for SAGE Global and founder of Africa Rising Foundation
- Prof Curtis DeBerg: University State of California: School of Business & Founder of SAGE Global (SAGE: Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship)
- Rob Best: Chief Operating Officer of SAGE Global
- Thabo Pitse, National Coordinator for SAGE South Africa
- Dr Charlie Pellerin, former head of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope programme and former Professor at Colorado Business School
- Dr Leonie Baldachinno: University of Malta and Director of the Edward de Bono Institute
- Prof Kelly Shaver (USA), researcher and entrepreneur
- Ian Sharpe, former President of the Australian Project Management Association
- Dragos Bratasanu, from Romania, author and film director of “The Amazing You” and engineer in Space Technology
- Prof Changwoo Park, Engineering: South Korea
- Dr Martin Burt, executive director of Teach a Man to Fish: Paraguay
- Dr Agustin Arceña, Education under the trees: Philippines
- Dr Velichko Fetvadjiev, Social Science Researcher, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand