The critical period of time for young people to open their minds to possibilities and to prepare for their futures is during their schoolyears - but they need the right kind of support to help them on their journeys. Careers For A Powerful You is the brainchild of South African edupreneur Fulufhelo Ramulifho, a business focused on providing high quality career guidance, coaching and mentoring to help a new generation of young people to fulfil their potential.
LoA learned more about this ambitious edupreneur and her mission in the career development arena this month….
What does your company do?
C4U is a goals-based career guidance academy on a mission to support high school learners’ ambitions using career guidance training, mentoring and coaching to assist learners to promote themselves. Our methodology is based on facilitating high school learner conversations on Career, Leadership and Personal Development topics. These conversations are powered by activities that ensure learners are fully exposed to career planning activities and tools that will set them up for success in school and in preparation for the world of work. As an organization, C4U partners with the learners to co–create their desired future following C4U’s 4-step approach – Dream, Focus, Plan and Do. This approach in itself helps a learner to identify who they are, what they would like to be, and enables them to be proactive and accountable in order to achieve their desired future. Learner milestones following C4U engagements include a big picture overview on the world of work and school; learners get to identify their core competencies and leverage their strengths and passions; and to expand their career options.
"C4U is a goals-based career guidance academy on a mission to support high school learners’ ambitions using career guidance training, mentoring and coaching to assist learners to promote themselves."
What inspired you to start your company?
My dad. At the age of 60 my father, a former teacher in Limpopo, spent his time motivating high school learners, going from one village to another. I spent most of my teenage years and 20s doing school visits with him, and so was inspired by the need to make a difference. There are many challenges that our learners in disadvantaged communities face on a daily basis - for example, the majority of our high school learners start and end school with little or no career guidance. The majority of our learners are unaware of the various career opportunities that exist and indeed know very little about themselves. As a result of acknowledging these types of challenges, I felt the need to establish an academy to help support high school learners and their ambitions. My aim is to unlock potential, one learner at a time.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
The choice of a career is so profound that it affects the lives of our learners, teachers, schools, community, government and economy. Top CEOs have the benefit of going through their career journeys with the help of coaching. This in itself provides them with an opportunity do well in their careers. Our high school learners, provided they receive proper coaching and embed the necessary critical life skills within themselves through coaching, can also do well in life and work. As an organization we believe that if our learners know better, ask better questions, and seek opportunities to do better, then we stand a better chance of rising as a nation.
"I felt the need to establish an academy to help support high school learners and their ambitions. My aim is to unlock potential, one learner at a time."
Tell us a little about your team
We are a team of ladies, passionate about change and youth development. Our team is made up of various communities rather than partners, all working together to create mutually beneficial solutions. As an organization we work a lot with volunteers, encouraging others to join in and to co-create initiatives that can help to develop high school learners.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
No entrepreneurship background at all. I left university in 2008 as a Bcom Accounting graduate. I worked at KPMG as a forensic investigator and a few years later transitioned into a management consultant for an international management consulting firm - Renoir Group. However, within me there was a desire to be in business. I wanted to be in a business in line with my passion and purpose. I left work in 2013 to set up my company, C4U, formally. Initially with my background I thought running a business would be so easy. I remember within the week of resigning I was creating a potential client hitlist, and with that list I decided to visit those organizations. Much to my surprise I couldn't I get past the security guards. I was asked who I was there to see and why - I had no idea. All I had was a write up of what I wanted to do together with that potential client. I remember walking back to my place angry and frustrated. Following everything I learned through such experiences on those days, I decided to join a business incubator to assist me with transitioning into my new journey as an entrepreneur. Three years later I have moved from an idea into a business with a solid business case, plan, model and clients. By far this has been one of the toughest things I have ever done, yet at the same time hugely rewarding. Today, I am determined to do more and reach out to more learners. My target is to reach out to 1 million learners.
"As an organization we believe that if our learners know better, ask better questions, and seek opportunities to do better, then we stand a better chance of rising as a nation."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
Double our impact. Scale up our programmes using technology. Form various partnerships that create a solid value chain within the education system in South Africa. To be a market leader and employer of choice.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Doing what I love. In less than 80 days I will be climbing Kilimanjaro to restore the dignity of girls through the Trek for Mandela Caring for Girls Initiative. Call to support me as I get ready to summit - sms fulu to 42513. Look out for the Big Bold Change initiative.
"Today, I am determined to do more and reach out to more learners. My target is to reach out to 1 million learners."
Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we love those passionate, committed and highly focused entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the world, and Fulufhelo Ramulifho is one such person. She is on a mission to help South Africa’s high school learners to realise their full potential by preparing them before they go out into the world to embark upon their chosen careers. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa