RLabs Academy Courses for 2012 announced

After an eventful 2011 with more than 250 graduates, the RLabs Academy in Cape Town is launching exciting new courses with an offering of 16 courses for 2012. The courses include Social Media, Web and Multimedia, Entrepreneurship as well as Leadership courses. Registration will take place during January 2012 and all courses offered are FREE on a first come basis.

You can view the full list of courses offered here.

Source: http://rlabs.org


Three social entrepreneurship lessons gained in Morogoro

It was an early start to the day in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania but we were all looking forward visiting the rural town of Morogoro, located 190km from the city centre. Along with the TANZICT team and CEO of COSTECH Incubator we had a long 3 hour drive ahead and driving into beautiful Morogoro was an experience in itself. We were welcomed by Nate who is a passionate young man part of the Global Students Embassy programme and who currently runs a computer training facility in Morogoro.

As we arrived we were directed to a school (read TANZICT post about the experience)where more than 150 learners were waiting for us to discussion social innovation and entrepreneurship. Spending time with this amazing group of young people who are passionate about their communities and social change taught me THREE valuable Social Entrepreneurship lessons:

1) Adversity is the catalysts for innovation. In a community where the learners indicated that the main problems are water, electricity, infrastructure and connectivity were the key drivers for social innovation in the community.

2) Community-driven innovation initiatives are great opportunities to grow into social enterprises.
Some of the learners saw an opportunity to start a gardening project where they can grow produce that can possibly be sold to members of the local community.

3) Tension in communities do bring together a wide range of people who as a collective can address the problems in a sustainable way.
Through the GSE program it is amazing to see how a number of different stakeholders in Morogoro along with the learners and schools are coming together to make a difference in their communities.

The experience with the learners was nothing short of being special and their passion to learn about entrepreneurship with a social impact tells me that Morogoro, Tanzania has a bright future ahead with world-class leaders.


Social Innovation in Tanzania

Arriving in Dar es Salaam a few days ago brought an air of excitement in that it is a city with so much potential and a growing interest in technology. The RLabs visit was in partnership with TANZICT that stands for The Information Society and ICT Sector Development Project. It’s bilateral collaboration project between the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology of Tanzania (MCST) and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The project’s overall objective is a strengthened Tanzanian information society with enhanced capacities to contribute to the achievement of the Government’s socio-economic development goals.

The project is organized in three components:

1) Support the revision of the national ICT policy and start of the implementation.
2) Strengthen the Institutional capacity of MCST.
3) Create Tanzanian Innovation Program.

Social Entrepreneurship and its role in leaving a social impact:

The first session we had at the TANZICT Innovation Hub was to share the story of RLabs and to see the process of using Social Entrepreneurship in making a difference in the community. The presentation (see above) was followed by a discussion with some young entrepreneurs about how they can use Social problems in the community to make a difference. Through some exercises the entrepreneurs grew ideas into addressing local problems their communities are facing in Dar es Salaam. The day ended with some fascinating pitches by mobile entrepreneurs and it showed the potential for having Dar es Salaam as a technology hub for East Africa. The day really highlighted the need for fresh thinking to solve real problems on the African continent and proved that Social Innovation will be at the forefront of bringing the change needed in Tanzania driven by young tech social entrepreneurs.