i-Fundi is a private Further Education and Training institute, based in Sandton, Johannesburg. Founded in 2000, we are amongst the first training providers to gain SETA accreditation for the implementation of learnerships. Passionate about skills development and job creation, over the last 15 years, we have managed learnership programmes across the country for more than 12,000 youth in partnership with some of South Africa’s leading companies. Our clientele includes corporates in most business sectors, including banking, insurance, telecommunications, security, real estate, business process outsourcing, mining, retail and the public sector.
i-Fundi was formed in 2000 by development management professionals, Stefan Lauber and Fariba Bowen. Responding to a call for proposals for skills development and job creation programmes for unemployed youth by the Swiss South African Co-operation Initiative, i-Fundi secured funding to establish a call centre learnership programme for 200 youth in conjunction with the Services SETA.
Recognising the success of the programme, in 2005 the Department of Labour selected i-Fundi as an Employment and Skills Development Agency (ESDA) – an initiative to promote the roll-out of learnerships across industries and geographic locations. In 2007, a learnership programme for contact centre supervisors was initiated that provided agents with the opportunity to advance their career along a well defined career path. Since then we have launched numerous new programmes, all aimed at introducing new talent and growing staff in vocational occupations.
Stefan Lauber is the founder and managing director of i-Fundi. Born in Switzerland, he came to South Africa as a monk in 1992. He lived and worked in the informal settlement of Orange Farm for four years, where he set up the Centre for Community Development with the assistance of the Swiss business community. Following a period as a researcher at the Wits university, Stefan joined Deloitte as a senior consultant. In 2000, Stefan branched out to start i-Fundi. His prime passions of creating jobs, developing people and bringing sustainable benefits to clients have combined to create a winning formula.
Fariba Bowen is co-founder and executive director of i-Fundi. She holds a Masters degree in Public and Development Management from Wits University. Originally from Australia, Fariba spent over ten years working in the field of social and community development throughout Africa. Prior to founding i-Fundi, she was a consultant in the development units of Deloitte and Ernst & Young. Today, Fariba applies her business experience together with her commitment to social transformation to her work at i-Fundi.