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What we do > MADaboutART > What we do > Building a brighter future through entrepreneurship

Building a brighter future through entrepreneurship

MADaboutART's entrepreneurship programme helps children learn about business and tourism and gain valuable skills and experience
17 Sep 2021
What we do
Photo: Ben Glenn
Photo: Ben Glenn

We love visitors at MAD! As part of our entrepreneurship programme, Beaty and team welcome visitors with their own authentic brand of township magic. On a guided walking tour, visitors dive into the vibrant diversity of the township and see first-hand MAD’s programme in action, so who better to show them than our very own MAD entrepreneurs...

Tours are led by Beaty, supported by teenage MAD young entrepreneurs, each chosen for their interest in business and tourism. Everyone has a role to play – guide, host, stock controller, book-keeer, salesperson etc, to help them learn about different areas of business and operations. 

Since October 2019 more than 250 visitors from 17 countries have joined one of the team’s tours. The growing number of visitors has boosted the local economy and provided career opportunities for local youth to train as guides and helpers. Although activity stalled when Coronavirus arrived and travel restrictions emptied the busy reservations diary, in recent months visitors have returned in increasing numbers. 

A recent tour visitor from the USA, Janet, had this to say in August 2021 :

"You need to go on this!!! The education and support that Beatrice and her team provide for these children, needs to be recognized and learned about. The people of the community were welcoming and made sure we enjoyed our time. This experience is educational and fun!"

The entrepreneurship programme underpins the long-term sustainability of MAD’s educational activities in South Africa. Young entrepreneurs learn by doing, becoming leaders, confident communicators, team players.  They are the next generation who will take the project forward and build a brighter future for themselves and their community.

Thimna, aged 17, has been helping out at MAD for many years. As Beaty’s daughter, she just about grew up at the MAD centre and as she got older she began helping out with the younger children. Thimna’s now a MAD ambassador and she’s passionate about creating opportunities for her fellow female classmates at MADaboutART to ensure they can stay in school and avoid exploitation. 

Thimna and her brother Entle at the MAD centre, 2021

At MAD we believe girls have greater life choices when they're economically independent. All too often in South Africa, culturally-accepted social norms limit hopes and aspirations for girls. The entrepreneurship programme provides skills and sustainable income that changes girls' lives. Girls make their own beaded jewellery, handicrafts and art, which are put on sale for visitors. 

The entrepreneurship programme provides both practical experience and financial support for those involved, and it’s a great way for the young team to share the MAD story with others. If you're interested in visiting us on a township tour, visit our Airbnb page for more details!

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