This past spring semester, I had the great fortune to be on co-op in Cape Town, South Africa working for TSiBA Education at the Ignition Centre. TSiBA Education is a tuition-free higher education provider that focuses on building future business leaders from South Africa’s pool of talented but poor and disadvantaged young people.
Author Archives: SEI at Northeastern
Very low-income people are too often invisible to businesses and society. Businesses see no significant market opportunity and governments view low-income areas as having insufficient tax revenues to pay for basic services like clean water, healthcare, housing and energy. Building new models that provide these critical services at affordable price – in the face of high costs, poor distribution systems, dispersed customers, limited financing options and, at times, corruption – requires imaginative business solutions and partnerships supported by investors willing to take on a risk/return profile that is unacceptable to traditional financiers.
Earlier this month we lost one of our beloved students, Naman Shah, to an untimely death at the age of 21. His short life reminds me of a something I read long ago, that given a choice between a life of comfort and a life of meaning, the wise person will choose the latter. We too often hear of unnecessary and premature deaths in the world, in fact we’ve all seen the statistic that several thousand children die needlessly each day from poverty and disease. Every life matters, and yet when it’s someone you know, whose path crossed yours, the idea of a senseless death in the face of such promise is that much more powerful.