Hustle until your haters ask if you’re hiring
Africa Foundation has recently piloted a new concept, the Hustle Economy programme, which focuses on emerging micro-entrepreneurs or “hustle-preneurs”. This model has been developed in partnership with Harambee and builds on the “Youth Solving Youth Issues” initiative.
Africa Foundation intends on combining its enterprise development programmes into an integrated Hustle Economy programme that provides relevant support for different “tiers” of hustle-preneurs, whether they be inexperienced and aspirational start-ups, established retailers such as crafters, or contractors that are running established businesses and have employees. These hustle-preneurs are the foundation of the local economies, complimenting formal employment opportunities which are extremely limited.
What's the fuss about?
People in South Africa.
Unemployment rate in 2020.
1 in 6
South African’s work in the informal economy.
Of SA’s population is between 18-34.
There is no downside to a side hustle, there is job security in having more than one source of income.
How we help the hustlers to hustle
The development and delivery of the Hustle Economy programme is anchored by a network of community-based facilitators – recruited on the basis of their hustle experience and facilitation ability.
Recruitment of groups of +/-30 emerging micro-entrepreneurs: inexperienced individuals with aspirational start-ups (initially aiming to earn > R 500 pm). 60% female and youth recruitment bias.
A facilitated 10-week capacity building workshop covers a range of topics, including financial literacy, business skills, sustainable development, and social and environmental issues.
Peer-based review and support of the development of the hustle-preneur enterprise “ideas”. An important aim is to facilitate the peer-based approach in refining one anothers’ enterprise concepts
Tracking of activities result in credits awarded for workshops attended and hours spent volunteering in communities. Credits can be converted to funding support for a hustle: as capital or grant support.
Support of the implementation of local volunteer based social and environmental interventions to encourage hustle networks to “serve” their communities, underwriting social cohesiveness.
A phased approach
This is a 12-month programme based in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa currently.
An outline of the programme is as follows:
The first part of the course involves 3 months in class sessions, 4 days a week for a minimum of 3 hours per session. Business & financial training is conducted by Africa Foundation Facilitators during these sessions to provide a solid knowledge foundation to the participants.
Then 6 months is spent either in a Trade Skills Centre acquiring the skill and qualification to level-up a business, or on-the-hustle, where the participant, armed with their capital grant, sets up their micro-enterprise using the business knowledge acquired in Phase 1. Facilitators monitor and mentor weekly.
This phase takes up to 3 months. The participant’s micro-enterprise will hopefully have reached a graduation phase to be formally registered with a relevant business body and can be linked to grant funders. Some participants qualify in their chosen trade skill and will be ready to build their trade.
Hustle is a form of hope
Small and medium enterprises contribute to approximately 20% of South Africa’s GDP and employ around 47% of its workforce – clear proof that we are a nation of enterprising people. Importantly, most individuals who take part in the informal economy are women and this is demonstrated in the numbers of applicants we received in our pilot phase, with 85% of the pilot cohort of hustle-preneurs being women.
For many women living in rural South Africa, it is not practical to suggest ‘going back to school’, or ‘getting a degree’, to help them secure formal and permanent employment. This programme will meet individuals where they are and help grow them to a place of independence – increasing their quality of life and helping them to generate an income that helps them to thrive and not just survive.
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