Today was our last day of class/academic material. Although I was glad that it was our last day, I still enjoyed every minute of it. Today was a little different than the other days because instead of learning about charity work and non-profit organizations, we learned more about tourism and entrepreneurship.
I was really impressed with the knowledge of our first speaker, Ally Meadows. She works in tourism and taught us all about her work and how tourism can be such an important industry. Her knowledge for the subject matter was endless and very detailed. She gave a long presentation, proving how tourism is such an important contributor to GDP. She had some amazing ideas that really could make a huge difference in Africa. I was most impressed with the way she answered our questions at such depth.
The second speaker we heard from was a man named Luvoyo, an entrepreneur from the townships who started his own business. It was inspiring to see where he came from, and where he is now just through some creative thinking and some hard work. He saw a need and with some financial aid, he was able to act on his vision and satisfy the need by creating an internet café. He helped his community by giving them the opportunity to learn how to use basic computer features such as: internet, Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. He was the perfect example of a business entrepreneur who thought of a good idea and acted on it in a smart way.
After our morning speakers we went to a shopping center called The Woodstock Exchange building. The lower floor was mainly restaurants, coffee shops, and clothing stores and the upper floors were all offices. We got to talk to a bunch of local entrepreneurs working of a variety of different projects. The group was called the Bandwithbarn and contained some very diverse businesses. Most of the businesses were very new age. Even the building was very new age. It was extremely green as well as artistic. It was good to hear first hand from multiple entrepreneurs as well as have some of our questions answered.
We returned to the hotel for the last academic portion of the trip, a movie about apartheid. The movie was a great way to recap all that we had learned as well as leave a feeling of pride for where South Africa is today after all it has endured.