South Africa | In action since 2004
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)
After learning about the plight of refugees in their country as well as local instances of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, the Enactus team at the University of Johannesburg jumped at the chance to help. They were contacted by global NGO Jesuit Refugee Service to set up a small business training program for a group of refugees in Gauteng. After meeting the group and conducting a needs analysis, they leveraged partnerships with a number of organizations to develop a simple yet comprehensive curriculum that covered topics from business plan writing to basic bookkeeping. To foster understanding, the team also included South Africans in the workshops to build stronger connections between the two groups. After completing the training workshops, participants had the opportunity to apply for start-up funding to start their own micro-businesses. With more than 1,400 hours invested in the initiative, the team was successful in impacting 270 individuals, and 221 businesses were started as a result. Long term, they hope to continue the work with the goal of further building understanding between local citizens and refugees.
Proudest moment of the past year:
Receiving a grant from Jesuit Refugee Service and having the opportunity to conduct a baseline study for their organization
Biggest challenge from the past year:
Funding for travel so our students could travel between project sites and school
How they're preparing for the WC:
Fundraising by selling T-shirts, getting media coverage, writing letters to sponsors, and promoting our national presentation on social media
They're most excited about:
Building international relationships, networking, and experiencing different cultures
Team described in one word:
With graduation just weeks away, the team’s outgoing President credits her Enactus experience for many things, including teaching her new skills and knowledge but especially finding her first professional position: after working with the Jesuit Refugee Service as part of a project, they hired her as a Country Business Consultant. She now hopes that the experience she will gain at World Cup will lead her to her next employer and is looking forward to all the even has to offer including global networking opportunities and exploring a new country.
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After learning about Enactus during a class presentation, he knew it was an extra-curricular activity he wanted to get involved with. Three years later, this Entrepreneurship major now serves as the team’s Campus Coordinator, putting his organizational skills to good use. Although he describes a typical day with the team as hectic, he also praises the group for their ability to work together to achieve their goal. As the team prepares to represent their country at the World Cup, Andile is excited to learn from the other teams and identify entrepreneurial opportunities that can be replicated in South Africa.
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