Book Review: The Disruptors by Kerryn Krige and Gus Silber


Doing business is often about making money, but it should also be about impact. Impact as in doing good to society, community and people that interacts with the business.

The Disruptors: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and Society profiles 15 amazing entrepreneurs sharing their entrepreneurship journeys doing work that matters.

Profiled are change-makers such as Jonathan Liebmann of Maboneng Precinct, Yusuf Randera-Rees of Awethu Projects, Ludwick Marishane of DryBath, Garth Japhet of the popular Soul City and Heartlands, Pat Pillai of LifeCo UnLtd South Africa, Gregory Maqoma of Vuyani Dance Theatre, Taddy Blecher of CIDA City Campus and Maharishi Institute, Kovin Naidoo of Brien Holden Vision Institute and other amazing social entrepreneurs.

The book has a combination of the practical lessons that these amazing pathfinders went through at the same time, it has an academic analysis of the how social entrepreneurship is evolving.

The case studies in this book clearly illustrate that social entrepreneurs are extraordinary people who do extraordinary things.

Social entrepreneurs want to solve a problem, address an inequality, empower individuals or a community, reduce an environmental impact, or develop a mechanism for improving the quality of life of the people who live in a particle place.

Social entrepreneurs are intent on having a social impact not as an afterthought but as an integral part of their business and operational model



This is a great book about doing work that matters. The entrepreneurs profiled are amazing overachievers who given their qualifications, they could go an work for prestigious organizations with high perks but instead chose to do work that matters, work that impacts the marginalized and downtrodden of society.

These are people who are running businesses that are profitable at the same time having a social impact.

If you are an entrepreneur with a good heart, this book is for you.

The Disruptors does not refer to the usual technology disruptors such as Uber or ABNB, but rather disruptors who bring social change.

Favourite quotes:

  • “You never really graduate from life. You just get better at dealing with it.” – Zanele Mbeki [Foreword]

  • “Soul City opens a window on people’s lives, and in so doing, through the magic of storytelling, the window becomes of mirror.” – Garth Japhet
  • “Money is only worth something if it adds value to life, because the true currency of happiness is human connection.”
  • “The universe is made of mathematics. Everywhere you look, there are patterns and shapes and sequences, overlapping, interconnecting, alive with energy and meaning.”- Sharanjeet Shan
  • “We count, therefore we are.”- Sharanjeet Shan
  • Life is full of lessons that we learn from doing things wrong. We share them, in the hope that others may do things right.”

  • “An economy without a superstructure of maths and science is like a castle made of sand, waiting for the tide to rush in. You can’t build a bridge without maths. You can’t fly a plane without maths. You can’t run a bank without maths. You can’t innovate, invent, compete and grow without a corps of scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technologists to fly the flag.”- Sharanjeet Shan
  • “Everyone should have a map and a mirror.”

  • “Vuyani uses movement as an aid to understanding in the classroom.” – Gregory Maqoma
  • “I wasn’t driven by the thought of commercial success,” says Anne. What was more important for me was that we were going to influence the mindset of people.”
  • “99 percent of everything is implementation.” – Stacey Brewer

  • “Human beings are alchemists,” says Taddy Blecher. “We have an infinite capacity to turn potential into opportunity.” and the tool that we use, the hammer that taps lead into gold, is education.

TEDxJohannesburg held what they call a Salon [a smaller version of the main conference] with a theme Dsiruptos, which is based on this book. The author [Kerryn Krige] and other social entrepreneurs profiled in the book spoke at this conference.

The following are links to the TEDxJohannesburg talks:


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