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About Us

Empowering youth to be the authors of their futures by seizing opportunities that better themselves, their communities, society and their country.

Why we do it?

As we said, the youth are Africa’s greatest resource but still 55% of young South Africans find themselves unemployed and out of education. This represents a massive chunk of untapped talent as well as a source of social unrest and individual despair.

According to Nobel Peace Prize winner, James Heckman, social and emotional competencies are at least as important as technical skills when determining employability, earnings and career success. Unlike universities who focus on academic and technical skills, enke focuses on the ‘soft’ skills. We look to enable youth to thrive beyond the classroom. We aim to reclaim and re-write the story of disproportinoately impacted youth. We want the youth to make their mark.

What’s our story?

That is an important question. Here goes:

Tom Walsh, Philippa (Pip)Wheaton and Kathryn Maunders were volunteering in under-resourced schools in KwaZulu Natal when they discovered some important findings. The youth, they learnt, were unhappy about the state of their schools, communities and cities, but felt they had no voice. What they needed was a chance, a platform or a shot at creating change.

The Startup and Early Growth: 2009 – 2012

In February 2009 the trio developed the concept of a space that would accommodate youth from diverse backgrounds, where ideas could be shared and developed. The space would unite youth from all socio-economic backgrounds and to mark the beginning of the enke journey they thus held the first ever enke: Forum in July of 2009. The first Forum showed that the full potential of the youth in South Africa was undiscovered and untapped. High school youth who attended the event discussed dozens of innovative and inspired solutions to their community social issues with implementation strategies to match. It was clear that a once-off conference would be inadequate, and so, in 2010, enke: Make Your Mark was born with Pip as the first CEO in 2010 and a team that grew slowly and steadily until 2013. Management and governance structures were established that would position enke to empower the youth more strategically.

Stabilisation and Change: 2012 – 2016

With the stabilisation period came change where flagship programmes, Trailblazer and Ignition, were defined and standardised for scale.  In 2014, Pip stepped down and Rufaro Mudimu, who had been leading enke’s programmes, was appointed CEO in 2015. Under Rufaro’s leadership, enke developed a new strategy and the Catalyst programme and bespoke services were developed and added to the offering. In addition, enke operated a leaner and more focused directive to reach their goal to empower the youth of South Africa.

Scaling and Stable Expansion: 2017 – current

In more recent times and with over 10 years’ experience in Youth Empowerment in South Africa, enke continues to grow, perfect and refine. We have continued to build our enke alumni of awesome youth who continue to innovate in their communities. We have also continued to grow our bespoke services, expanding to companies and organisations who need to understand youth empowerment- at its core.

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What are our values?

The mission is simple to CONNECT, EQUIP and INSPIRE change, action and success.

Here are the values and principles that guide us in our work:

  • This isn’t school
  • We’re with you
  • We believe in truth and transparency
  • We respect each other
  • We create our own path
  • We get our hands dirty
  • Make it happen. Make it better.

What’s our strategy?

You know our mission and our values, now here’s what we aim to achieve. We want to enable hundreds of thousands of effective young leaders through our products with the goal of training 100,000 youth annually by 2025. Our strategic thrust is to lead and facilitate scalable and measurable solutions that are transformative in unleashing the inherent assets of youth to achieve positive socioeconomic change.

How do we aim to do this? Here’s our strategy.
We aim to achieve our goals by:

  • Providing innovative, scalable, tangible, measurable solutions that leverage the inherent assets of youth to effectively define and achieve their goals.
  • Celebrating and supporting youth to lead change in their own lives, those of others and those in their communities by sharing stories of youth led change and building supportive networks for the youth in our programs.
  • Actively pursue financial and operational stability to innovate and create sustainable long- term impact.
  • Contribute to achieving national and global development goals through an ecosystem approach.
  • Adding value by actively partnering and collaborating with organisations, institutions and companies where possible.