Dr Taddy Blecher BIO
Dr Taddy Blecher is the CEO of the Community
and Individual Development Association and the Maharishi Institute which
facilitates University education for unemployed youth from 11-countries in
Africa. He also founded the broad-based BEE fund: Imvula Educational
Empowerment Fund. Together with the Rockefeller Foundation, he started the Impact
Sourcing Academy and Invincible Outsourcing, which provides theoretical and
practical training in the Business Process Outsourcing sector to unemployed youth,
thereby bringing them into the economy.
He is known as a pioneer of the free tertiary
education movement in South Africa, having helped to create six free access
institutions of higher learning, as well as inspiring the creation of two other
institutions. As a result, over 14,250
unemployed South Africans have been educated, found employment and moved from
poverty to the middle-class. These formerly unemployed youth now have combined
salaries in excess of R700 million p.a. and expected life-time earnings of R17
billion. Over 600 000 young South Africans in schools have been reached with
one-week education and life-skills training courses.
Dr Blecher is
the Chairperson of the SA National Government
task team on Entrepreneurship, Education, & Job Creation in the Human
Resource Development Council, and results of this work include developing a
national strategy of implementing Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship
into the entire SA school system from Grade 1 to Grade 12.
He also serves on the British
Government Task Team for the reinvention of higher education and skills
development, as well as the Italian Government – South African Government Chamber
Dr Blecher co-founded the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship with Sir Richard
He has raised over R500 million in
cash, property and equity to support free access to post-secondary school
education for historically disadvantaged youth. He is consistently working on
developing sustainable means to help unemployed youth in South Africa gain
access to transferable skills through education, training, jobs, and careers, thereby
breaking the poverty cycle.
Dr Blecher has been honoured with
numerous awards, including most recently, being selected as one of 21 South
African Icons in the 21 Icons initiative. He is also the 2002 World Economic
Forum "Global Leader of Tomorrow" awardee, a 2005 World Economic
Forum "Young Global Leader of the World", a Skoll Global Social
Entrepreneur winning a $1 million prize for his work, an Ashoka Fellow, and has
been honoured with two honorary doctorates. In 2009 he was named by
author Tom Peters as one of his top 5 most influential entrepreneurs in the
world over the last 30 years.
A qualified actuary and management
consultant, Dr Blecher is passionate about the approach of Consciousness-Based
Education, a system of education developing the full potential of every
student. This has led the Maharishi Institute to winning the first prize in a
global competition to find the most innovative education initiative in the world.