Africans are the quintessential entrepreneurs and always on the hustle to make ends meet whether as farmers, herders, crafters, artisans or micro-business owners. Africa Foundation supports livelihood development and the sustainability of income generation and our Hustle Economy Programme aims to provide practical support and training for emerging rural business owners and entrepreneurs.
In South Africa, Africa Foundation is active in 28 rural communities in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. As with most rural communities in South Africa, unemployment is a significant challenge in these communities. In response to this, Africa Foundation is developing and delivering a new Hustle Economy Micro-Enterprise Support Programme (Hustle Economy Programme).
This Programme is being co-created with Harambee – www.harambee.co.za, tailoring their Youth Solving Youth Issues initiative to the Africa Foundation rural community context. The overall objective of the Programme is the establishment of a long-term intervention that will serve and support emerging Hustle Economy micro-entrepreneurs – “Hustle-preneurs”, across the Africa Foundation community footprint, with emphasis on:
- improving their business skills and acumen,
- increasing the net income that they generate through their enterprises,
- nurturing volunteer-based social cohesion within these communities.
The development and delivery of the Hustle Economy Programme is being led by an experienced Africa Foundation Programme Manager, Nonhlanhla Ambrose, and is anchored by a network of community-based facilitators – recruited on the basis of their Hustle Economy experience and facilitation ability.
Each Facilitator is responsible for:
- Recruiting and supporting local hustle-preneur networks – with a 60% female and youth recruitment bias.
- Coordinating regular capacity building workshops for these hustle-preneurs, covering a range of topics, including financial literacy, business skills, sustainable development, and social and environmental issues.
- Enabling peer-based support for the development and realisation of the Hustle-preneur enterprise “ideas”.
- Supporting the development and implementation of local volunteer based social and environmental interventions that will allow their hustle-preneur networks to “serve” their communities, thereby underwriting social cohesiveness.
The activities of the participating hustle-preneurs are tracked, and they are given “credits” for the workshops that they participate in and the hours they spend volunteering in their communities. They are then able to convert these credits to funding support for their entrepreneurial activities, in the form of capital and accredited training grant support.