The communities we work in have unemployment rates reaching well over 40% — some of the highest in the world. There simply are not enough jobs in South Africa’s growing mega-cities of townships and slums. Because of this, the creation of sustainable small and micro-enterprises is essential to the sustainability of individuals and communities seeking to exit extreme poverty.
Our Economic Development Process is holistic and multifaceted.
To get even an introductory job, an applicant must pass a math test to be eligible for employment. For most people growing up in our target regions—even those who have finished high school—there is very poor comprehension of math. Especially for someone engaging in their own business activity, we see math skills as crucial to the success of running a business. This refresher course gives them the tools that they need.
The basics of budgeting, savings, and investment are looked at in a very practical and cultural way. As the students participating in the small business development program have come from extremely under-resourced communities, they have not had the privilege of taking time to plan for the future. For most, their life has been day-to-day sustenance and survival. This financial literacy module helps them start planning for the future. The basics of budgeting, savings, and investment are looked at in a very practical and cultural way.
The goal is that, upon graduation from the program, students move right into their own self-employed business ventures. This objective requires many other skills and learned behaviors essential to starting and running one’s own sustainable business. Topics such as accounting, marketing, profitability, competition, and other important factors in running a successful business are covered in this module.
This module helps students engage with the spiritual side of themselves. For many, this is an opportunity to grapple with real thoughts they have had over the course of their lives, and finally come to conclusions about God and faith. From experience, it is a very inspiring and moving time for each of the students that take part.
One of the key factors inhibiting economic growth has been the skills gap. This large component of the small business development process is targeted at teaching a reproducible and profitable skill that students can use to provide for themselves and their families. Much research has gone into which trades will be successful in the informal environments of impoverished communities.
Supporting the Life Development program is a gift that spreads hope long after it’s given!learn more
Come serve with us in Africa — by yourself or with a team from your church or school.learn more
By sharing about our work on your social media accounts, you help raise awareness!learn more