Global tech company Visualfabriq has announced a three-year partnership with Johannesburg-based non-profit organisation, Rhiza Babuyile that will bring funding and expertise to skills and enterprise development programmes for South African township youth. Visualfabriq was introduced to Rhiza via matchmaking organization Net4Kids – that helps companies select social impact causes that are a natural fit with their company purpose and vision.
Visualfabriq, which has its headquarters in the Netherlands, provides game-changing revenue management solutions to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies around the world. The rapidly scaling up company has operations around the world including Johannesburg; and South African FMCG giant, Tiger Brands was amongst its first clients.
“At Visualfabriq we unleash excellence. We believe this should not only apply to our customers but that our impact should extend to society in general, and most importantly to those who can benefit from it most,” says Visualfabriq co-founder and CEO, Jaco Brussé.
“As part of our social impact strategy, we are working towards donating 1% of our profits and 1% of our time towards initiatives that help to unleash the excellence of vulnerable children and youth. Through our long-term engagement with Net4Kids, we have now partnered with Rhiza Babuyile so that we can make a contribution to reducing youth unemployment in South Africa.”
With one of the highest rates in the world, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has set youth unemployment as a national priority. According to Stats SA, in 2018 the unemployment rate for South Africans aged 15 to 34 years stood at 38.2%; meaning that one in every three young people in the job market had no work. The highest concentrations of unemployed youth are in South Africa’s poverty-stricken townships where there is a dire lack of access to quality school and tertiary education.
Rhiza Babuyile was founded in 2005 by Alef Meulenberg, and under his leadership the organisation has developed a unique model of community development where health, education, skills and enterprise development programmes are integrated to achieve self-sustainability.
Alef says: “It’s exciting and inspiring for us to partner with a global tech company such as Visualfabriq, and together launch a project at our Diepsloot community centre that will connect our beneficiaries to international entrepreneurs, business people and tech developers who are at the forefront of global tech and business innovations.”
The upcoming pilot of the project will draw together young and highly motivated people from the Diepsloot community who are particularly interested in tech and entrepreneurship and will benefit most from the mentoring and coaching that the visualfabriq team can provide. Amongst others, Interventions will include webinars, virtual mentoring and the facilitation of internships.
Saghi Andresi from the Southern African – Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (SANEC) joined the introductory visit with Rhiza participants. SANEC will participate in the project under the broader SANEC sustainability umbrella and play a role in advocating the project amongst it members.
Customer Success Manager, Marieke Smits, who leads the project from the Visualfabriq side explains that there will be a strategic business approach to formulating the pilot project and moving forward.
“Visualfabriq is currently applying proven success strategies for scaling up in our own business,” Marieke says, “We understand what, why and how things need to happen. Once the learnings from the pilot are evident, we can then support the scale-up phase in year three. We will also be leveraging our networks and connections worldwide to open up more opportunities for Rhiza Babuyile as an organisation, and for individual beneficiaries who are succeeding in the programme.”