As we approach the end of Youth Month, we reflect on the two most urgent challenges facing young South Africans: education and employment. A partnership between Columba Leadership and Money for Jam (M4JAM) has produced a bold new solution to these issues – a scalable business model that creates employment, helps drive education, and ensures sustainable community development.
This partnership was established as a result of the fact that South Africa is the most unequal society in the world, with youth unemployment close to 60%. ”Micro-jobbing and micro-training using mobile technology will do to traditional employment and education what Uber has done to transport,” says Andy Payne, Chairman of M4JAM. “Our partnership will enable us to become the biggest employer of youth in the country within the next five years,” he adds.
Micro-jobbing platform, M4JAM, and youth leadership programme, Columba Leadership, have partnered to help address their mutual visions of youth empowerment, employment and skills development.
“Around the world education systems designed for the industrial era are not providing young people from under-served communities with the tools to succeed in the modern, post-industrial economy. Ethical leadership, sustained employment, and responsible capitalism in an inclusive economy have never been more important. South Africa’s current unemployment crisis demands an urgent and effective response,” continues Payne.
The Columba / M4JAM partnership addresses these issues by using experiential learning of values to build character or grit with participation in projects to improve communities that builds skills like problem solving; working in teams; communicating and personal mastery. M4JAM on the other hand offers a unique way to address unemployment by providing a steady stream of micro-jobs to young job seekers.
“We do not believe that the formal sector is going to provide the levels of employment we need to effectively address unemployment in this country,” says Rob Taylor, founding chairman of Columba.
“M4JAM, being at the forefront of micro-jobbing, offers opportunities for our graduates to earn an income while studying and making a social contribution by creating new jobs in the informal economy,” he adds.
The Columba / M4JAM partnership has been shortlisted for the Unilever Global Development Award, supported by Business Fights Poverty. The nomination is a result of their efforts towards creating sustainable economic freedom for the youth of South Africa.
“We call on all South Africans to spend Youth Month developing solutions to the growing crisis of inequality,” says Taylor. “We welcome all interested parties to join and support our efforts to create significant and sustainable economic opportunities for young South Africans,” he concludes.