B360 Programme Switzerland ‘Donates’ Paul Monn to Guest Lecture

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Pic left to right: Paul Monn, Pearl Pugin, Dean of TSiBA, and Reidwaan Jawoodeen, responsible for General Management at TSiBA

Postgraduate Diploma in Small Enterprise Consulting (PG Dip SEC)
Assignment report by Paul Monn
Head Opportunity Net, Team of Experts, Credit Suisse Zurich
TSiBA EDUCATION, Cape Town, South Africa
8-12 October 2015

(Report courtesy of B360 website report)

Early in 2015 I got an email from my principal challenging me to do an education assignment in Africa. He and later on my wife encouraged me to apply for this assignment. As I always say: The only way to change the world is education. I applied and fortunately got selected by Credit Suisse, B360 and TSiBA staff. My goal definitely was to share my knowledge and experience but also to learn as much as possible from the South African culture.

Paul Monn with his amazing class

Upon arrival at Cape Town Airport I had a very warm welcome by Reidwaan, the program responsible and my most important contact person at TSiBA. On the trip from the airport to the university campus I got a first impression of the townships and times of Apartheid. I got in touch early with the daily questions about race and religion. On TSiBA campus I realized soon that there are many different people of different colors and languages. There is a strong and friendly relationship amongst the board, staff and students at TSiBA. It is an impressive place to be.

After first introduction on campus I went to the accommodation. A beautiful B&B in Pinelands, 10 car minutes from campus. The B&B called The Oval with its hosts, Mike and Louise, was a very nice place to stay at. The family style environment and very good discussions amongst hosts and guests from Africa and Europe were definitely an enrichment.

The plan was to teach from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. I prepared enough teaching material for the whole week but did not include South African business cases. I had to prepare with Swiss and US ones.

We started on Monday at 9am in the morning. On the first day we finished at 5pm. For the rest of the week, it turned out to be 6 or 7pm. The students where seriously interested and hard working.

It was challenging for the students and me to align the different levels of knowledge. There were students with a Business Administration Education and others with absolutely no knowledge of finance. In addition, age differed from the age of twenty to fifty plus. In the end, I am convinced that we met the goals of the faculty and reached or even exceeded the goals of many students.

I was deeply impressed about the Ignition Centre at TSiBA. It is a wonderful and empowering place, from which many countries all over the world can learn. That is how TSiBA describes the Centre on its website: “Since its inception in 2007, the Ignition Centre is a leading entrepreneurial service hub that offers education and training in business, career management and computer literacy as well as business mentorship and incubation support for grassroots businesses. TSiBA currently operates two Centers located on campuses in Cape Town and at TSiBA Eden in the Southern Cape.

The Centers play a transformative role by empowering beneficiaries to 1) start up their own businesses or obtain suitable employment, 2) take their existing small businesses to the next level to ensure sustainable livelihoods and 3) strengthen small business to enable job creation and growth. In addition to strengthening the social fiber of the communities they serve, TSiBA Ignition Centers offer a platform for unique and powerful collaboration between provincial government, the business community and civil society.”

I am very thankful to have been part of the TSiBA Team. It was an unforgettable experience and I thank God for the good relationships and especially for new friendship with Reidwaan, with whom I am convinced I will stay in touch.

I look forward to returning as a lecturer and maybe as an investor to entrepreneurs. Totsiens! In 2016?

Gwinden, November 2015

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