Giving children the opportunities and self-belief she never had

Randy Mampuru’s educational enterprise is making great strides helping young children in Soweto gain in confidence and improve their marks at school. And the management programme she studied at Henley Business School Africa has helped supercharge her ability to drive this successful NPO in a challenging economic climate.

Randy Mampuru knows she is making a meaningful difference to the lives of many children and their parents in Dobsonville, Soweto. Since she started her educational initiative, Kidz Hub in 2016, she has seen young children develop personally while their marks improved by up to 40% for some subjects in a year. Her NPO helps children in a community where unemployment, poverty and social injustices limit the ability of parents and schools to offer children the academic support they need.

Kidz Hub also trains high school graduates unable to study due to financial reasons, providing them with jobs and careers as tutors and assistants. She has come a long way from starting out by tutoring kids at her mother’s kitchen table. Seven years after launching her startup, she is renting premises with a computer lab and a vegetable garden, looking after 93 children, and employing 12 tutors.

But the financial reality of being an entrepreneur – even a successful one – is harsh. Donors disappear after a year and grant applications are frequently turned down. Randy decided that she needed to gain more specialised business skills. She had a tourism qualification, but this was not helping her with the growing needs of her business. She needed a programme that was flexible and took her busy schedule into account. In addition, she wasn’t too confident in her academic abilities, admitting that she had been an average learner at school.

“That is also part of why I started Kidz Hub, to give children what I didn’t have, the confidence in themselves and their academic potential.”

The part-time, module-based Higher Certificate in Management Practice (HCMP) at Henley Business School Africa suited her extremely well. The equivalent of a first year of university, the HCMP START is the first of three undergraduate qualifications on Henley’s unique “ladder of learning” designed to assist working South Africans gain the qualifications they need to make them better mangers and leaders.

Randy enjoyed the diverse peer group and student interactions and found the lectures on financial acumen and human resources as well as compliance issues very valuable.

“Sometimes as a business owner, you get so caught up in the running of the organisation, you lose track of things, which may seem small but can turn out to be major risks.”

But it was the leadership development that stood out most for her and the fact that she was able to apply what she was learning in the classroom in real time in her own organisation.

“I was able to strengthen my belief in myself and what my business is doing and learned how to build better relationships and get the most out of my team.”

Through the personal mastery and self-development aspects of the programme, she learned to think more strategically about her business as well as honing her purpose and her vision for Kidz Hub. Most importantly, her time at the business school helped her to prioritise what was most important to her business’s future, like creating awareness about the work it is doing.

“I can now communicate much more clearly to donors and other stakeholders about the importance of supporting this kind of social enterprise in a country where the educational system needs all the help it can get, especially for children from disadvantaged areas.”

Randy concludes, “I think as a business leader, it was the right time to get upskilled and to build strengths in areas I didn’t know about enough before. All of this has made me a better leader and this is good for my business too, in so many ways.”

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