Entrepreneurship in Education Series: Margie Worthington-Smith, Embedding an Entrepreneurial Mindset into a National Education System



In this webinar, Margie Worthington-Smith will join us to discuss how she has worked to embed an entrepreneurial mindset in the national education system of South Africa. She will discuss the top-down, bottom-up methodology she has used throughout her career, as well as the role “entrepreneurials” have on improving the economy and well-being of a nation.


About our Guest:

Margie’s life has been driven by the desire to improve the lives of South Africans, particularly the youth. With a teaching degree and experience, Margie established two civil society organizations—the job-creation organization Triple Trust in the 1980s and The Institute for Entrepreneurship in the 1990s. The latter focuses on developing learning materials to inculcate an entrepreneurial mindset in young South Africans.

Margie has spent time as Executive Director of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. AGOF was established to identify, grow and support high potential young South Africans to be high-impact entrepreneurs. She is a founding member of Activate Leadership, an organization with a network of over 4000 young South Africans, established to provide growth and connection opportunities for young people to become active innovators for public innovation.

Margie has consulted with multiple civil society organizations to guide their culture, strategy, and organizational development. She has served on numerous boards and was an Enterprise Fellow at the University of Essex – traveling with other experts around the world to manage conference discussions focused on entrepreneurship globally.

Margie began her next challenge in 2018 as the Executive Programme Director for  (eCubed) – a non-profit organization that is also a unit in the SA Department of Education. (She currently works in the Research, Innovation, and Development team.). E³’s mandate is to prepare teachers through an SA-designed teaching-for-learning development model/approach that will result in learners equipped for—and who will flourish in—life after school. These solution-seeking entrepreneurials will ensure the lowering of the enormously high levels of youth unemployment in South Africa. (Currently 74%).

The goal of E³ is to inspire 100% of learners to complete school and for 100% of these learners to study further, get a job, or start their own enterprises. It does this by using student-centered learning, including projects and games, in the existing curriculum to better prepare learners for the modern economy. A unique element in this endeavor is the embedding of the entrepreneurial mindset into the teaching-for-learning approach so that students’ intrinsic entrepreneurial behaviors are honed, perpetuated, and sustained through the 13 years of education – rather than undermined.

Margie is a mother, a musician, and a maker of memories.


Watch a recording of this conversation below: