Dr Taddy Blecher is CEO and co-founder of the Maharishi Institute, Imvula Empowerment Fund, and the Invincible Group. He co-founded the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship with Sir Richard Branson.
He is Chairperson of the national Advisory Council for Entrepreneurship and Employment in Schools for the national Department of Basic Education. This initiative will embed employment and entrepreneurship relevant skills for every child in the South African school system by 2030.
As a direct result of his work, over 18,550 South Africans have been educated post-secondary school, found employment and moved out of poverty into a more successful life. These youth (70% of whom are women) now have combined salaries in excess of R1.35 billion p.a. and expected life-time earnings of approximately R39.1 billion [$3 bn].
He is co-founder of Tendrel, a global organization now in 30-countries to support Social Impact Leaders (social entrepreneurs). He has helped develop the new national Entrepreneurship Development Institute (ECDI) with the Department of Small Business and the Services SETA, a R1.5 billion entrepreneurship development set of initiatives and has led the development on the concept of a National Virtual Incubator, an online eco-system to support all small businesses in South Africa.
He served on the British Government Task Team for the reinvention of higher education and skills development, as well as the Italian Government – South African Government business partnership board.
He has raised over R500 million in cash, property and equity to support free access to education for historically disadvantaged South African youth. Over 600 000 young South Africans in schools have been reached with one-week education and life-skills training courses.
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 led the Maharishi Institute to winning the first prize in a global competition to find the most innovative education initiative in the world in October 2010.
He is consistently working on developing more 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.
His work on education and youth employment has been profiled in over 50 published books. He was named as one of his top 5 most influential entrepreneurs in the world over the last 30 years by author Tom Peters. He serves on a number of boards.