The Business of Creating Jobs

The Business of Creating Jobs


Presently 25,2% of potential employees are seeking work, and it grows to 36,7% if you include those who’ve given up completely. Between 2003 and 2010, demonstrations by poor, unemployed youth increased eight-fold, to 111 per annum. It’s reaching crisis point for the economy and individuals, but these businesses offer a guiding light. By Tracy-Lee Nicol


Find a need, then train workers

India has a rapidly growing economy and a large youthful population. But like South Africa, the country is plagued by a significant shortage of skilled labour, widening the gap between rich and poor and hamstringing economic growth.

Jajendra Joshi-Empower Pragati

Social entrepreneur Rajendra Joshi, founder of for-profit Empower Pragati Vocational & Staffing (EPVS), is changing this by providing disadvantaged youths with livelihood skills development and meeting demand for quality and reliable employees in the private sector. Market mapping by EPVS determines which skills are needed in the market, then develops a curriculum for training youth conducted both in-house and with industry specific bodies.

Placement executives then ensure each trainee is provided with placement opportunities with participating organisations in retail, hospitality, logistics, finance, supply chain and healthcare sectors.  EPVS has over 22 training centres across India that have directly benefitted more than 2 500 youth. It has an annual budget of $750 000 and has 100% earned revenue.

Hybrid model

Financing self-employment

One way to improve unemployment is to create businesses and encourage self-employment. In 1987, Nigerian entrepreneur Godwin Ehigiamusoe created micro-finance Life Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) to empower Nigeria’s poor and vulnerable people.

Godwin Ehigiamusoe-Lapo

As part of its for-profit microfinance, LAPO offers loans, savings products, and credit-for-shares investments to micro- and medium-scale enterprises such as craftwork, food processing, merchandising, fabrication and farming operations.

As part of the non-profit, LAPO then engages with poor and vulnerable communities by providing social and health empowerment programmes addressing esteem, nutrition, discrimination, and social inequalities, as well as providing training, technical assistance and HR development to other micro-finance institutions, NGOs and banks.

Over 486 000 individuals have benefitted from LAPO which has 100% earned revenue and an annual budget of $285 million (2011).

Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.