Stacey Brewer’s journey is marked by a passion for giving back. Together with fellow EO Johannesburg member Ryan Harrison, she founded SPARK Schools in South Africa in 2013. “We’ve always been passionate about giving back to a country that has given us so much over the years,” says Stacey. “As it turns out, entrepreneurship was the vehicle to do just that.”
While pursuing an MBA at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Sandton, South Africa, Stacey saw an opportunity to leverage her business acumen in South Africa’s educational sector. Stacey and Ryan’s “a-ha” moment came after they visited the United States to learn more about its learning models. When they found an approach that they felt could drive their mission and vision, they launched SPARK, a network of primary schools dedicated to delivering accessible, high-quality education.
“Although we didn’t have any experience in the industry, we believed our innovative approach to education, combined with our strong business knowledge, would offer a sustainable solution to the education crisis in South Africa,” Stacey says. Read more about Stacey and Ryan’s endeavor.
In 2017, the SPARK network comprises 11 schools and nearly 3,000 students. Reflecting on her success as an entrepreneur, Stacey says, “What differentiates extremely successful entrepreneurs from the average entrepreneur is that they embrace the personal journey. EO has been a part of my journey of self-reflection and self-development—learning who I am and playing to my strengths.”
How will you enrich your journey?