The Raymond Ackerman Academy [RAA] continues to develop the GESS program at various levels and this past quarter, July to September, is no different.
At a programmatic level the mentorship program continues to bear dividends with access to markets, access to corporate grant funding and business systems being but a few of the outputs with the overall outcome expectantly being business relationships that will endure way beyond the program.
The workshops this quarter focused on understanding financial terms, customer relationship management the development of a one page introduction company profile as well as a leadership workshop.
The grant funding program saw over R93 000,00 ($6 579) being invested in the GESS SMEs during this quarter. The impact of the grant funding in certain cases has been truly remarkable, for example one SME was able to secure income of over R 90 000,00 because of an investment of R 14 000,00 in electric hand tools.
At a strategic level the RAA Director continues to forge national (e.g. a bootcamp for Livity Africa based in Johannesburg) and international (Africa Youth Entrepreneurship workshop, Kenya) partnerships in the Youth Entrepreneurship sector.
The highlight of this quarter was undoubtedly the YEPI conference in Talloires, France. Having the opportunity to share and learn with the YEPI secretariat, the YEPI partners as well as the YEPI learning partners has been a privilege on so many levels. Key learnings and insights include:
While language, circumstances even culture might change, youth globally face universal market failures, including access to markets, access to funding, access to skills and infrastructure.
The most significant insight is the common drivers among all YEPI partners, in terms of the ethos that guides their work and in the values that make them who they are, in particular “Developing the person , then the business” is a key priniciple across most sites.