South Africa

The 2016 Quarter 3 saw the start of the exciting next phase of RAA GESS, specifically the start of the mentor program with the introduction and matching of mentors for each of the participants. The mentors will meet with each participant at least 3 hours per month working of the entrepreneurs growth plan and milestones. The GESS Team took several learnings from the Pakistan visit in March and from the continued engagement with the programs that were on the visit. There were many lessons from Pakistan but the ones that GESS implemented were 1) the idea of 'skin in the game' - ensuring our entrepreneurs brought some kind of investment to the table. It's helped us in our grant application process in that it gives more commitment and respect for the process. The other lesson was having specialised staff - GESS has brought on interns for design for example to help with marketing material and social media. Highlight since Pakistan has been piloting a few interesting new revenue models for the programme like a pitching bootcamp - and building your entrepreneurial mindset bootcamp. Which were inspired by the SIL visit as we saw the team there exploring other revenue initiatives. The GESS Team arranged a Skype session with SIL and GESS entrepreneurs to share their businesses and exchange insights from their respective countries and has planned an exchange with our YEPI Zimbabwe partner in August. The GESS program was fortunate to have a masters student from the Canadian Monk School of Global Affairs interning during Q3. Elias Dermentziz was tasked with digitizing systems and setting up online reporting and coding the data received via online reports for analysis and review. This has been an incredibly valuable process and the data analysis will alowl GESS to assess and evaluate the correlations between, for example, hours spent with a mentor vs growth in sales. Data is tracked from monthly reports submitted by each of the GESS participants. The grant funding process started in Q3. Participants apply and attend an interview to motivate for the funding of assets in line with their growth plans. Several exciting applications were approved ranging from requests for carpentary tools, a laptop, uniforms and professional clothing, website development, business cards and online subscriptions for the Strength Finders assessment. This funding has already begun to show impact on sales and efficiencies in the business. The Indigo cosmetics project whereby entrepreneurs in the GESS programme will have access to end of range and excess stock at cost price, provides another exciting opportunity for additional revenue and sales for participants in the program. Professionalism and time management remain key challenges and points to the ongoing growth and personal development that is part of a young entrepreneurs journey. A reminder to the GESS team of our first value - we grow the person and then the business! Looking forward to Q4 which promises to be even more exciting!

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