Smarter thinking is the ability to identify a problem and then find the most simple and effective and sustainable solution possible. It’s a way of doing things that I’m surrounded with at Virgin, where entrepreneurial thinking is encouraged and celebrated.
We’re taking a look at some of the best ideas we’ve come across in our latest series Smarter Thinking on Virgin.com. One example is Pride 'n Purpose, a wonderful charity operating out of Ulusaba, Virgin Limited Edition’s private game reserve in South Africa.
The project is jointly funded by Virgin Limited Edition and Virgin Unite, which means that all running expenses are covered and 100% of donations go directly to their brilliant projects.
Ulusaba has a spot really close to my family’s heart – it’s one of my mum and dad’s favourite places. You’re surrounded by nature and wonderful people. Whenever we visit a Virgin Limited Edition property, we make sure to visit Virgin Unite and Virgin Limited Edition supported projects which help the local communities. Business can have a positive impact on the places where they operate – and it’s great to see this at Ulusaba and all of the other properties.
Ulusaba means “place of little fear”. This name is steeped in meaning as the koppie (hill) where the Ulusaba Rock Lodge accommodation sits once provided the ancient Shangaan warriors with the perfect lookout and vantage point. “Place of little fear” still rings true today thanks to the Pride ‘n’ Purpose projects that really embrace smarter thinking to provide security, empowerment and opportunity to the local communities. The projects focus on four key areas:
- Making food and clean drinking water accessible.
- Providing education at all levels.
- Supporting entrepreneurs and encouraging sustainable employment.
- Providing training, tools and sustainable activities such as workshops and food gardens.
The philosophy behind Pride ‘n Purpose is that change is most effective when you empower people to help themselves. I truly believe this is the only way to create lasting change that can be sustained and nurtured for generations to come. It’s so important to give people the power and the tools to find their own purpose and create their own destiny.
One example of their approach to simple but smart thinking includes the development of FunPumps, which serve as both merry-go-rounds for kids as well as bore water pumps, providing the community with safe and clean drinking water. The Nhlayisa Feeding Scheme is another brilliant example of smarter thinking. Nhlayisa is an enriched, nutritious and economical porridge that is provided to kids at Pride ‘n Purpose pre-schools every day. The porridge is also distributed to local orphanages, age care and disability centres as well as other areas of the community. This simple, practical and inexpensive initiative nourishes hundreds of people every single day, helping to break the cycle of poverty.
Pride ‘n Purpose did some research and found that the wage of a single employee will be used to support up to 10 members of their household or community. However, the team understood that simply handing out jobs doesn’t encourage growth and isn’t a sustainable solution. And so they developed an entrepreneur scheme to help budding entrepreneurs tap into new income sources.This simple approach gives the power back to the people, encourages skill development and allows for scalability.
Sustainability and transparency is key for Pride ‘n Purpose, with 100 per cent of donations going directly toward their projects. You can read all about the incredible work the team is doing and help to support their efforts right here.
For more examples of smarter thinking, check out the rest of the series here.