High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Kommunity Group partners with GM to distribute desks to South African children

Kommunity Group (formerly LapDesk), a portable desk company founded by South African Endeavor Entrepreneur Shane Immelman, has partnered with General Motors South Africa to distribute 475 LapDesks to disadvantaged children from the Mzomtsha Primary School in Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth. Every child at the school received their own LapDesk–a lightweight, ergonomically designed writing surface made from durable, child proof materials, which they can use at school and at home.

School principal Mntuwenkosi Mashologu said the school has 465 students and 16 teachers, but struggles with limited resources: “Most of our buildings are dilapidated and subject to vandalism. We have no paving, no administration offices, many classrooms have no electricity and conditions are generally a challenge for teaching the children.” Mashologu said at least half his students did not have proper desks where they could sit during class. “We are all very happy to have received these Lapdesks, as it will make a huge difference in the ability of learners to do their schoolwork,” he said.

While many schools in the world today use expensive advanced technologies as teaching resources, over 480 million students worldwide still lack proper desks, a most basic education tool. Shane founded Kommunity Group to overcome this barrier in South Africa by distributing portable LapDesks. His company has now distributed over 1,000,000 LapDesks in 16 countries.

Shane has been endorsed by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and chosen by Harvard Business School for two case studies in its curriculum. His company remains focused on R&D, and released four new products in 2011.

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