As an initiative of the Department of Basic Education (DBE),

Our E3 logo


Preparing learners with the skills they need to start their own enterprises


Equipping young people with the skills they need in world of work


Engaging learners in a way that will enable and encourage them to continue with their learning journey


So why do we care?

Now, more than ever, young people need a way to design their own lives as future leaders and to gain and develop the skills that will enable them to achieve their goals and be successful in their endeavours. We call these 21st Century skills. Whether a young person wants to start a business, be ready to enter the job market or further their education journey, our mission is to prepare them for their chosen future path. We want to see a nation of entrepreneurial citizens who are actively engaged in the economy. We want to see poverty and unemployment reduced by 90% by 2030 so that our great country is placed in a worthy position in the global community. And so the schooling process needs to change to ensure that young people are better prepared for the 21st century that is now so different. Teachers are the change agents who can make this possible and as such will help learners to be participants in their own learning process. Teachers will guide this process as they pivot their classrooms to being learner-centred where the learners become engaged and enthusiastic about schooling that is meaningful and purpose-driven.


Our Solution

Together with the DBE, the E³ team has identified active learning pedagogies, and Project-Based Learning in particular, as the vehicle to solve the problem of high unemployment and poverty in South Africa. It is imperative that learners develop an entrepreneurial mindset that will unfold their desire to be useful to others (have purpose and agency), believe in themselves (self-efficacy) and develop 21st Century skills to carry out their purpose.


These cannot be learned out of a book – they can only be nurtured and developed through:

  • Experiencing success through iteration,
  • Having a coach or mentoring teacher to encourage their progress,
  • Being exposed to socially relatable role models and,
  • Becoming comfortable with learning from “failure”.

The E3 Team supports the development of Project-Based Learning skills in educators to implement action-led, practical learning that will enable learners to develop the skills they need to excel. This, together with a focus on entrepreneurship, is what we believe will give our learners the tools they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world and reduce poverty and youth unemployment by 90% by 2030. The 21st Century Competencies the learners will develop through this process are:

  • CHARACTER: Citizenship, curiosity and resilience
  • THINKING: Creativity, critical thinking, reasoning
  • CONNECTION: Collaboration, communication, empathy

The E3 Learning Model starts with the inspiration provided by a compelling goal, problem to solve or burning issue. It is this inspiration that provides the fuel for engagement in the learning process. The teachers then create a learning environment that includes engaging and varied pedagogies (such as PBL) and tools to activate the learning. Once the learners embark on the process of acquiring the information they need to solve the problem, they are provided with regular reflection opportunities to think about their choices and learning journeys. This process results in a mindset change that is defined by the increased agency and self-efficacy that the learners begin to develop as they go through this process. The outcomes are the development of a stronger character that results in engaged, curious, resilient citizens. In the process of solution-seeking and iteration the learners develop their ability to think critically, to be creative and reason. Finally they realise the value of connection, collaboration, communication and empathy for their peers as they find solutions that serve them.