The Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA) is not your typical business school and its sixth annual graduation is no typical graduation ceremony. This unique university has the biggest percentage of prestigious award winners in the country. While students come from diverse backgrounds, their dreams are all the same - to study at tertiary level and change not only their lives, but those around them. Most TSiBA students are the first in their families, even communities, to graduate at tertiary level.
Their dreams have become a reality through tuition scholarships awarded to study accredited, tertiary-level courses at TSiBA focused on developing entrepreneurship and leadership. Rather than pay back their scholarships monetarily, students are required to Pay it Forward transferring knowledge, skills and resources they gain at TSiBA back into their communities.
TSiBA is a non-profit business school founded in 2004 and registered and fully accredited with the Department of Higher Education (No: 2007/HE08/001) as a private higher education institution. With expanded academic offerings TSiBA will also be capping its first class of Postgraduate Diploma in Small Enterprise Consulting graduates. This course is designed for coaches and mentors who help small business owners start, grow and develop their businesses to ensure they are profitable and sustainable.
Over the last decade TSiBA has awarded around 1,500 scholarships to talented young people who may otherwise not have had access to higher education for academic or financial reasons. In just six cohorts TSiBA has graduated five Mandela Rhodes Scholars, two Kofi Annan Scholars, two Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Candidate Fellows as well as many other social change awards. With the current value of annual tuition approximately R50,000 per student per year, this equates to over R75m which TSiBA has invested in South Africa's leaders of tomorrow.
Even more impressive is that 95% of TSiBA degree graduates are employed, entrepreneurs or studying at postgraduate level - this against the backdrop of 52% unemployment amongst South African youth. TSiBA's high calibre of graduates means they are in demand and currently work at big organisations like Oceana, Old Mutual, Sanlam, JP Morgan, Curo Fund Services and Prudential in various roles like investment, finance, human resources and client services. (www.tradingeconomics.com
Adri Marais CEO of TSiBA said, "The impact these graduates will have on the growth of the South African economy is significant. At a conservative economic lifespan of 40 years, a very conservative cost of living annual increase of 7% per annum, and a few promotions during their career span, these graduates will already earn and contribute well over half a billion rand into the economy during their working lives."
Marais continues, "Contrast this figure with the drain of having unemployed and unemployable youth on the street. Not only is there the lost opportunity cost of productivity, but also the harsh social impact of unemployment such as increased rates of depression, illness, crime, drugs, domestic violence and reliance on social grants. Thank you to all our supporters who share our vision to graduate entrepreneurial leaders for South Africa and have donated funds and their expertise so that our graduates could celebrate this milestone today."
TSiBA is unique in that it balances the curriculum with both academic content and experiential learning. Individuals selected are nurtured to grow confidence and acquire the values, attributes and behaviour of a leader to become grounded in themselves, their community, country and the world. This is achieved through the "Profile of Graduateness" which places attitude at the heart of the student's development and layers skills and knowledge around this. TSiBA seeks to ensure that students are equipped not only for further study and the working world, but also develop a social conscience and the skills to build our nation.
Ishmoedeenah Douglas, 2014 BBA graduate and legal and budget consultant at Intelligent Debt Management epitomises a typical TSiBA graduate when she says,"I am the youngest of nine kids and also the first to graduate with a degree, so I am the daughter of an exceptionally proud Dad. Before TSiBA, I was a shop assistant at a Game store, earning a minimum wage. Now, six months into the working world, I've been promoted to Senior Consultant at the top debt-management company in Africa; I've also recently received two alternate job offers from well-known investment firms."
Another 2014 BBA graduate and a trainee accountant at BDO South Africa Business Services Lunga Schoeman reflects on his journey saying," TSiBA has changed my life, and changed my destiny as I was orphaned at the age of eight when my grandmother became my legal guardian. Over the last four years I have grown as a person, a student and a leader. TSiBA has taught us well over all areas of our lives: the importance of using both the heart, as in your values and Paying it Forward, as well as your mind, as in business. Both of these build a solid foundation for success and adding value in the world."
Celebrated South African media personality, Shado Twala who is a radio DJ, journalist, entrepreneur and radio and television producer, will be the event's honorary guest speaker. Shado is a great role model as she lives TSiBA's Pay it Forward ethos in her day-to-day life championing many societal issues including women abuse, the role of the arts in a developing society, using her respected media profile.
Mathew Gold, SA Music Award Nominee, vocalist, songwriter and musician will perform. Gold has taken SA radio by storm with his new and creative ways to write, produce and perform his music to crowds all over the world. Gold mirrors TSiBA's ethos of Paying it Forward and entrepreneurship by creating an innovative business around his musical talents.