Alvin’s Story: From Fisherman to Entrepreneur

Alvin’s Story: From Fisherman to Entrepreneur

Hovering around 25%, South Africa’s unemployment rate can breed hopelessness and despair. This sort of climate requires radical action, innovative thinking and creative ideas.

One such creative idea may be found in Paradigm Shift.

Paradigm Shift is a programme run by Common Good that offers micro-finance, mentorship and training to small business owners.  At Paradigm Shift entrepreneurs get to partner with experienced businessmen and woman to develop and refine their business model.  Entrepreneurs have experienced a significant increase in their business revenue due to the weekly training and one-on-one mentorship.

Alivin is one of Common Good’s Paradigm Shift entrepreneurs.  His story is one of hope and holistic transformation –

“My hands tell a story. They’re etched and rough from years of toiling at sea, searching for crayfish. These hands have gripped coarse ropes and clung to the rough metal sides of boats during storms. For years, my hands clutched a bottle and steadied my body against poles as I’d stumble home, wasted from alcohol. 

Weather-beaten, these hands have built my home, brick by brick. They’ve tickled my children. Three times, these hands have come close to falling cold against my side. Three times, God has spared my life. 

Now my hands sell snacks to teachers and children at a nearby school. Hands that once couldn’t put down a bottle now turn the thin pages of my Bible. 

My hands are rough and calloused, gathering wrinkles as I watch my children grow older. Once, these hands would have reflected my heart – scarred and rugged. But my heart is changing. 

After years of trying to drink my life away, I finally turned to God. Now that I have experienced him, everything’s changed. My life is a testimony of what God can do. My hands tell the story of how God, once again, redeemed a rough fisherman.”

To find out more about the Paradigm Shift course and how you can get involved, visit or email us. Alvin was photographed for Paradigm Shift by Stephen Elliot.

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