The Current Reality
There are certain post-school institutes called Technical and Vocational Training Institutes (TVETs) because they are involved in the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding, and knowledge relating to specific occupations in various sectors of economic and social life. The study of general education and technologies is important in the development of these specific occupation-based skills. However, most learners gain specific skills for training but fail in achieving workplace efficiency. Sometimes the primary impact of this reality is born by the fact that while not all graduates are meant to pursue entrepreneurship (you know, become a job creator), not all TVET certificate holders are molded for employment. Since most TVET learners are taken through the process in order to find space in specific occupations (you know, take care of this unemployment situation in Africa), they are equipped with the technical skills to excel at the handiwork they are trained for. They make excellent operational level employees and are the most critical operators of machines, making of certain crafts, and providing the front office services in the hospitality industry. The focus therefore is devoid of the kind of attachment that they need when thinking of starting their own ventures. Converting these skills into both sound management skills and for seeking resources on their own has the potential for building the potential of many TVETs into fast growing colleges for alternative education of many people in different sectors. Africa certainly needs that. The specific skills obtained by students in TVETs provides young people with the ability to gain work and as such a second chance in life; and offers students who may have missed colleges, professional programs, or university education, to gain access to an environment from which their personal skills can develop into substantial businesses.
Rationale for TVET Entrepreneurs and Technologists
Most learners gain specific skills for training but fail in achieving workplace efficiency. The primary impact of this reality is born by the fact that while not all graduates are meant entrepreneurship, not all TVET certificate holders are molded for employment. TVETs in most settings in the continent are designed to help those who have missed formal education or have not gone the full cycle of the system, opportunities for progress. However, despite this programmatic reason, there is a much more technical reason. Products of engineering that are imported into the continent from other regions of the world and packed to suit the liking of the local clientele are often considered innovations. It is only in the field of ICT, where the young of Africa are competing effectively, despite the serious imbalance of access to resources compared to other parts of the world, that African youth are making progress. The flipside is much more telling. Young and middle aged metal workers who fabricate useful and sometimes very unique products for the market are not included in this category, but instead are considered as part of the informal sector. In Kenya, the street word is Juakali. The word itself communicates poverty and lack of sophistication. Yet, as one may have it, sophistication is the staff of work that generates important progress for the development of new products within the juakali sector. Key examples include fabrication of farm tools, cooking appliances, and conversion of certain machines like water-pumps into spray pumps and vice versa. In the hotel industry, many of these trainees have moved on to generate new recipes, create new ways of cooking old food and added to the national cuisine without knowing it. The garment industry is awash with African designs that are essential in developing the most critical designs for the growth of the market. Yet, these are not considered mainstream, perhaps because the developers are not often around to defend their products and as such are left in the backstage of history as it is being written. The revolution of technology is silently wasting away in the continent and the pertinent question is “Who will advertise the Juakali revolution in Africa?”
This is the case of Connexion Sans Frontiere , conceived by Senegalese Ahmed Karim Cisse, who uses Ict for a telemedicine project for traumatologic patients, particularly road accident victims, or the one for Education for Change, made in Kenya by Simeon Oyando Ogonda, dedicated to the training of farmers on alternative and more environmentally friendly farming methods.
There have been no innovations for education and childhood, such as the one developed by Elizabeth Kperrun in Nigeria to teach the country's traditional fairy tales to the young, taking into account the different languages spoken, and political and social participation such as Nyaaya Of Indian Sumeysh Srivastava to make accessible to all citizens the knowledge of the laws in force in the country and to ensure that everyone is aware of their rights.
The 25 shortlisted innovators come from sixteen countries. The most represented countries being Nigeria and Kenya, both with four projects each. The African presence is very strong as twenty of the twenty-five finalists come from this continent. Of the remaining projects, two are from India, one is from Bosnia Herzegovina, one from Cambodia, and one from Colombia.
Nearly 40%, or 9 out of 25, of the finalist projects were presented by women, resulting in good female representation. While there is often talk of a gender gap in technology access, these “ICT for Social Good” innovators seem to counter this notion. As a percentage, women’s projects have risen from around 25% of the total initial applications to 36% of those that are in the final shortlist, demonstrating a high level of competency and quality among the proposals submitted.
The issues addressed most by the applicants concern agriculture and health, as well as the themes of education and of participation in political and public life. Seven of the finalists are tackling child-related issues and they will compete for the Grant funded by Fondazione Mission Bambini Onlus, specifically dedicated to this target.
Perhaps like a reversed telescope, environmental education is being looked at in the wrong way. Instead of dealing with reactions to problems and and trying to solve environmental issues as they arise, it may be worthwhile to consider what sort of citizens we believe should populate the earth. Or, as Simeon Ogonda, a youth development leader from Kenya, asks, "Many of us often wonder what kind of planet we are leaving for our children. But few ask the opposite: what kind of children are we leaving behind for our planet?". Raising environmentally engaged citizens requires more than just a few educators participating in this work. Rather, it is a collective responsibility: each of us has a stake in fostering the stewards of tomorrow.
This is a print book written by the Worldwatch institute on the topic (EarthEd (State of the World): Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet). It can be accessed at www.EarthEd.info
We are looking for a field operations officer to handle activities and events related to one of its projects, Stoke Project. Stoke Project is a premier innovative local-stove building project that is working with rural communities to introduce efficient and effective stoves for domestic use among the rural population. The project is operated as a social enterprise and aims to enhance the capacity or local communities to adopt new technologies in the home. You can learn more from our website’s projects page. Key responsibilities for this position include holding interviews with rural farmers, organizing tree planting activities, and developing marketing plans for Stoke. In line with our objectives, the following qualifications are our guidelines to our best fit for the position. The prospective candidate:
The rate of unemployment in Kenya is quite alarming. Access to employment opportunities has become quite tough for many honest and hardworking Kenyans. However, employment is not the only income generating avenue for many Kenyans. The inherent benefits and importance of self-employment have become part of the daily experience of young and middle-aged persons seeking to expand their visions beyond job seeking to job creation. However, some venture into this field with little or no experience. Their business start off at good paces ‘with good profits and few losses’ but hit hard rocks months later with limited chances of succeeding. They resolve to get loans to salvage their dreams but the income they get is often just sufficient to repay back the loans, in some cases. In the end, the impact of the loan is not felt. The businesses crumble and fall; shops are closed, items auctioned, income opportunities lost, and poverty strikes back.
Having noticed this, we realized the need to reach out to these Small Scale Business owners and empower them through training and mentoring with an aim to empowering their businesses through various levels of training. In our latest training and mentoring program at Lela’s Alva Resort, we trained 22 young and middle aged business persons in order to better understand the general impact of the ideas they hold when they set off to achieve profit while providing important services. With businesses ranging from shopkeepers to green grocers turning up for the Training at Alva Resort, we expected a very exciting exchange of ideas, and we were not disappointed. On the first day, the participants had the chance of being trained by Kevin Obunga, renowned trainer of Accounts, book keeping and good customer care practices. In the preamble of his training, he fully involved the participants in the session by asking them questions and exchanging ideas is a trainee focused manner to better interact with and engage each participant. His question, ‘which challenges do you face as a business person? ‘ and the way he reacted to the responses, such as Competition, debts, theft, price changes among others, introduced a learning mood that served as an eye opener to the participants. Later on, when handling Book Keeping, I noticed that most participants across the hall had a dimmed view of keeping accounts of their day-to-day business activities. With this in mind, Kevin extensively shared on the importance of Book keeping and gave practical examples on how to do it. Customer Care as a topic was not only educating but also entertaining. Some of the crazy thoughts participants have had about their clients whenever they ask weird questions were discussed. Nevertheless, while at the beginning most were honest about their rude responses, they finally understood that it is significant to become one with the client and understand their own challenges without making their responses personal to the extent of hindering their own activities. The participants learnt that their customers are their bosses and with this, it’s wise to keep them fully satisfied. Good etiquette, proper use of non-verbal cues and body movements were additional tips on how to satisfactorily manage and handle customers. With these, day one was a success. In a nutshell, one would say that these are common things, we should all know them. At Enterprise Education-4-Change, we say it’s the common things that grow or destroy a business. We are therefore glad when theses common lessons are learnt for the betterment of the present and the future.
Day two had Dr. Charles Nyangara, one of the top most Entrepreneurship Trainers and lecturers at Kisumu Polytechnic, Maseno University, and Kisii University. He is a recognized author and a community leader with a distinct sense of humor that speaks volumes in all his training sessions. His method of training was exemplary. His first action was to place each trainee in charge of their own outcome with regards to understanding the content. In groups he helped the participants understand their Business Eco-system, its elements, factors affecting it and how to solve them. Charles knows and understands why we need story tellers in our society. Every story teller is an expert in their own field. However, it is much more fun to tell stories about your experiences, because in the human world, we all relate to some story. In this case, our networking session became a critical aspect of creating story tellers. The previous day one participant had told of how his “Mandazi” business was and his response was so dispassionate you’d imagine he was being forced to do it. However, after our session on networking, I personally thought he was making “birthday cakes”
We continue to work in such inclusive environments and enhance our own capacity to develop more confident and goal-oriented businesses in Kisumu County. Our greatest desire is that this work continues and as we organize training for Ahero town to include trainees from Katito and Boya, we hope to create a hopeful and creative environment for interaction, sharing, and most of all learning for every businessman and woman we train.
See you soon, and I look forward to telling you more about our Entrepreneurship Caravan, J
Edam Shem, Ee4C
Dear fans and friends, last year i attended the inaugural American Express and Ashoka Changemakers Bootcamp in Nairobi. I learned so much that ever since I have been working round the clock to realize the dreams I have for myself, family, and society. I relish every moment I spend working for the dreams and values that our organization holds so dear. We have also been very much honored to become one of the most interesting organizations as I was selected as the Non-profit Leader of the Year in 2016, through this network. You could be the next person, so take time and make an application.
This is the journey I wish for everyone that reads our posts on social media or on our website. This year there is another Bootcamp, the second of its kind. Ashoka and American Express are looking for stellar social innovators ages 35 years and younger, who are located across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Francophone West Africa, and East Africa. In general, we’re looking for early- to mid-stage social entrepreneurs who are rockstars — who demonstrate courage, vision, kindness, and resilience. If this describes you, then make an application here and be part of the Ashoka Experience. I can guarantee you that Ashoka, American Express are two of teh most critical networks you need as a social entrepreneur in our globalized human society. Success and have a blessed journey.
Follow the Link Below and apply: https://www.changemakers.com/emerginginnovators
Post written by Simeon Ogonda
PRESS RELEASE: Sponsored Business Training for Small Scale Businesses in Kisumu County (June and October 2016)
Enterprise Education-4-Change plans to hold a four-month business training for informal small scale businesses in Kisumu County. The four-month training program includes four workshops organized for two days in four locations with 20 participants in each workshop, and 100 days of active mentoring and community guidance through our business consultants. During the two-day workshop, participants shall be trained on book-keeping, banking, ethical management and legal issues as the essential components of succeeding in business, especially in the rural setup. Each participant shall be provided with notes developed from curriculum drawn from Enterprise Education-4-Change and delivered by qualified trainers with technical knowledge and understanding of the business environment in Kisumu County. Aside from the trainers, we shall have invited guests from county government and the private sector to share some of the services they offer to small scale businesses. The workshops shall be organized in the locality of businesses determined by us and handled within four months. After the four months, there shall be an awards ceremony slated for October, 2016.
We are hereby inviting small scale business persons to apply for the training. We are looking for 160 individual representatives of businesses for the program. Applications from any business activity within Kisumu County shall be considered. Each of the workshops shall be held in Ahero, Maseno, Katito, and Kisumu town.
Qualifications for Applicants:
Benefits of the Training shall include knowledge on:
The training is fully sponsored by the organizers, Enterprise Education-4-Change with support from the American Express Academy's Non-profit leader of the year award
Interested applicants will be vetted and upon approval will be contacted.
After training the progress of the participants’ business will be monitored and in the last conference will be called for awarding of certificates.
For more information, kindly reach out to Linda on 0732383093
Simeon Ogonda of Enterprise Education-4-Change JOINS FIFTY INFLUENTIAL AND INNOVATIVE NONPROFIT LEADERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD AT AMERICAN EXPRESS’ ANNUAL LEADERSHIP ACADEMY ALUMNI SUMMIT
Event Unites Graduates of the American Express Leadership Academy and Prominent Leadership Development Programs to Further Develop the Sector’s Leadership Pipeline
NEW YORK, 9/4/2016 – American Express recently hosted its second annual Leadership Academy Alumni Summit in New York on April 4 and 5, celebrating nine years of an industry-defining program that has developed more than 2,000 emerging, nonprofit and social purpose leaders. Simeon Ogonda of Enterprise Education-4-Change attended and collaborated with distinguished program alumni and representatives from ten top leadership development and entrepreneurship organizations to grow the next generation of social purpose leaders and advance the sector’s impact on society. Produced in partnership with Atlas Corps, the Summit featured a variety of workshops and panel discussions, designed to provide participants with a stronger network and vital leadership skills.
The Summit continues American Express’ commitment to tackling the deficit of leadership development programs in the nonprofit space, as identified in a recent study by the Bridgespan Group. In fact, 98 percent of Summit attendees cited leadership development programs as critical to the sectors progression.
“For nearly a decade, American Express has dedicated a pillar of its philanthropic mission to strengthening the nonprofit and social purpose leadership pipelines.” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “The Summit celebrates the accomplishments of our Leadership Academy alumni and is a rare opportunity to bring together and develop the next generation of changemakers, ensuring that strong, emerging leaders remain excited about the future of the sector.”
The attendees include world class leaders who are tackling some of society’s most complex issues, impacting sectors ranging from education, the arts, social services, health, the environment and more.
American Express’ values Enterprise Education-4-Change’s commitment to developing emerging leaders in its organization and Simeon Ogonda was chosen to attend the Summit because of his continued commitment and dedication to the organization since its founding and for his role in the development of the organization’s annual programming
“The American Express Leadership Academy and its alumni network have provided me with the opportunity to learn new skills and engage in more creative collaborations with my peers," said Mr. Ogonda. “This American Express Leadership Academy Award will allow us to fund additional initiatives, increasing our small scale enterprise training program and advancing our mission across Kenya.”
To learn more about Simeon Ogonda and read the biographies of all 50 Alumni selected to participate in the Summit, please visit here.
Launched in 2008, in partnership with The Center for Creative Leadership, the Leadership Academy develops the personal, business and leadership skills of emerging nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs. Academies are tailored to fit cultural nuances and serve different nonprofit needs, such as social entrepreneurship and international nonprofit organizations. In 2016, nearly 700 nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs will participate in these global Leadership Academy programs.
To date, American Express has hosted more than 70 Leadership Academy sessions, with 10 partners in nine countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Mexico Canada, China, Senegal and Kenya.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, Plenti rewards program, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, corporate card, business travel and corporate responsibility.
About American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow
One of American Express' three philanthropic platforms is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit and social purpose sectors, American Express makes grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century. More than 16,000 emerging nonprofit and social sector leaders worldwide have benefitted from American Express leadership programs, including the American Express Leadership Academy among others. Launched in 2008, the American Express Leadership Academy addresses the growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector by bringing together emerging leaders from a diverse set of nonprofit, social sector and non-governmental organizations. For leadership journey stories and additional resources, visit http://leaderstories.org/.
Enterprise Education-4-Change seeks progress in challenging environments by introducing projects and products suited for different environments in the rural areas. We also build capacity of small scale businesses and empower them to succeed in business and social progress
American Express recently hosted its second annual Leadership Academy Alumni Summit in New York on April 4 and 5, celebrating nine years of an industry-defining program that has developed more than 2,000 emerging, nonprofit and social purpose leaders. Simeon Ogonda of Enterprise Education-4-Change attended and collaborated with distinguished program alumni and representatives from ten top leadership development and entrepreneurship organizations to grow the next generation of social purpose leaders and advance the sector’s impact on society. Produced in partnership with Atlas Corps, the Summit featured a variety of workshops and panel discussions, designed to provide participants with a stronger network and vital leadership skills.