EMPLOYMENT AND ENTERPRISE
Afrinspire supports creativity and innovation, providing practical advice and offering kick-starter funding to enable individuals and organisations to create decent jobs. Our relationship-based approach encourages entrepreneurs to help themselves where they can, and break out of a cycle of dependence which can be common in some communities. Thus we work to ‘teach a man to fish’, rather than just providing him with a fish to eat. We encourage individual businesses to ‘start small, but grow big’ and many of the small businesses we have supported now employ and train many others, thus creating multiple jobs.
We have seen that that the ability to earn enough money to support oneself and ones’ family can be a fundamental source of respect and dignity, as well as supporting the local economy.
‘You are partners in the foundation of Miken School of Art – now we are sharing what we have built for the last many years and plans for new jobs and futures as we mentor others’
Wanda Kenneth, Young Entrepreneur and Director of The Miken School of Art (A growing business with associated vocational training centre)
AREAS OF WORK
The opportunity to work in a decent job and earn reasonable income is an obvious and important way for individuals and families to lift themselves out of poverty. Unfortunately, often very few white collar jobs are available in African societies, with most families living on their produce from a smallholding, and occasionally buying and selling of other items. Alongside this, many jobs do not provide decent conditions or wages, or exploit workers, for example by middle-managers taking all of the profits. Unfortunately, products made by children and individuals being held against their will, or working in poor conditions often end up on Western shelves.
In many of the countries in which we work, education is unfortunately geared towards a service-orientated economy which just does not exist, and therefore individuals often need to take the initiative to create their own jobs, whether by learning a skill such as carpentry or sewing, starting a new agricultural venture such as keeping pigs or a new crop, or engaging in more modern service provision such as opening an internet café.