On A Cloud launches its MicroFranchisee and Franchisee offerings

On A Cloud launches its MicroFranchisee and Franchisee offerings

Why would anyone consider to become a franchisee of On A Cloud?

Consider this: In the last quarter, South Africa has shed more than 340 000 jobs. If you are applying for a job, especially if you just enter the market, we propose that you buy a Lotto ticket. The chances of winning the Lotto is better than getting a job.

A franchisee is a person that owns a business. But the business is like a car. You get in, turn the key, and you can drive it. Providing you have had the training to drive a car. The point is, to drive a business, you need to be willing and you need to be keen. Like most of the youth we meet in urban and rural areas we work in. The youth we meet are tech savvy, intelligent and have the drive to make a business work. They simply need an opportunity.

Becoming a franchisee gives them this opportunity. It not only gives them the ability to quickly earn a meaningful income, but they can create more than 7 new jobs in the first year. They will have a running business in a year. A growing business that will, within a five year period, give them an income that will make most graduates jealous.

There are two levels of franchises:

A micro-franchise and a full franchise. The difference is what you pay for the franchise and what you earn.

The good news is that you can get someone to sponsor your franchise fee. We are partnering with the National Youth Development Agency to fund micro-franchisees, and with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency to fund full franchises.

Becoming a franchisee is simple: You apply, go through a selection process and if you are successful, you become a franchisee. The terms and conditions of NYDA and SEFA will apply.

Apply now! Apply here: http://onacloud.co.za/partnership-model/franchisee-application-form/

Youth unemployment should be tackled in the rural market

Youth unemployment should be tackled in the rural market

We have to ask ourselves: Why do so many people – more than 30 000 per month, according to Stats SA, go from rural South Africa to cities to seek employment? And when it comes to youth unemployment, the biggest single problem in our country, is that we are exposing a most vulnerable group to the vices of the sprawling urban minefield.

The first answer is always obvious – because there are no opportunities in rural areas, and there are jobs where people congregate – in urban areas. The other reason is that people simply cannot sustain themselves with agricultural activities. In recent years, there has been a tendency to subdivide farms, making production potential smaller and smaller, and, even if this has failed internationally, we still believe that we would “get it right”. In actual fact, it’s mostly about power, politics and ownership. There is simply no logical basis for some of the practices we embrace so eagerly.

This video shows what India is doing. Being a world leader in innovation that assists the poor, India tends to be a trend-setter when it comes to social entrepreneurship models. And this also addresses youth unemployment directly, as the jobs are typically first-job opportunities. Our focus on Wi-Fi entrepreneurs embrace the same philosophy – fighting youth unemployment in any way we can.

Have a look and see:


Youth jobs must be created. We are planning 270 000.

Youth jobs must be created. We are planning 270 000.

youthjobsWhen we say to people: “We are planning to create 270 000 youth jobs”, they look at us strangely.

Friends and family are kinder. They say: “Shouldn’t you perhaps set your sights a little lower”? But for us, the answer is no. And we do not believe that the goal is in any way unachievable.

270 000 youth jobs in 9 provinces is a nice round number. That’s 30 000 per province, give or take. Some provinces such as the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape may have less and Gauteng may have more. But is 30 000 youth jobs achievable? Perhaps we should reason together.

A micro-franchise is established by an entrepreneur. Pretty soon they earn an income out of their own efforts and prowess. But to grow their business, they need a sales person. So they employ one. The salesperson is good and brings in advertising contracts. The entrepreneur reaches their targets and have enough excess profit to start a second site. But this site is in the village down the road. This creates a requirement for a second sales person. And duly appointed. Now the ads are coming in faster. A graphic designer is required to deal with the volumes. Another day, another job. And as the business grows, an administrator is required, and an assistant. Then perhaps some technical staff that can implement the sites and maintain them. Within less than a year, one single entrepreneur can create up to ten youth jobs. And that is not a stretch. That is achievable.

The youth are smart, tech-savvy and keen to get opportunities. They have it in them to work hard and be successful. All they need is a little help to get started. And a market that can generate enough opportunities.

This is what Wi-Fi offers. Estimations are that the market will grow by 5500% in the next two years.


What is a Social Entrepreneur?

What is a Social Entrepreneur?

Over the past two decades, the social sector has discovered what the business sector learned long ago: There is nothing as powerful as a new idea in the hands of a first-class entrepreneur.

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.

Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to move in different directions.

Social entrepreneurs often seem to be possessed by their ideas, committing their lives to changing the direction of their field. They are visionaries, but also realists, and are ultimately concerned with the practical implementation of their vision above all else.

Social entrepreneurs present user-friendly, understandable, and ethical ideas that engage widespread support in order to maximize the number of citizens that will stand up, seize their idea, and implement it. Leading social entrepreneurs are mass recruiters of local changemakers— role models proving that citizens who channel their ideas into action can do almost anything.

Why “Social” Entrepreneur?

Just as entrepreneurs change the face of business, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss to improve systems, invent new approaches, and create solutions to change society for the better. While a business entrepreneur might create entirely new industries, a social entrepreneur develops innovative solutions to social problems and then implements them on a large scale.

Ecosystem Investing: Achieving Impact at Scale | Stanford Social Innovation Review

Ecosystem Investing: Achieving Impact at Scale | Stanford Social Innovation Review

Ecosystem Investing: Achieving Impact at ScaleSix lessons from a large-scale, cross-sector initiative to improve education. Aug. 31, 2015

In their landmark article Cultivate Your Ecosystem, authors Paul Bloom and the late Gregory Dees highlight the interrelation of partners in creating social change, noting, “Social entrepreneurs must understand and often alter the social system that creates and sustains the problems in the first place.

This social system includes all of the actors—the friends, foes, competitors, and even the innocent bystanders—party to the problem, as well as the larger environment—the laws, policies, social norms, demographic trends, and cultural institutions—within which the actors play.” As the company Target approaches its goal of investing $1 billion in education, it is putting a strong and growing emphasis on strategic investments in work that the social sector can scale and sustain. And like many investors, it is beginning to fully understand that scaling means understanding and respecting the complex interplay of partners that Bloom and Dees—and many others since—identified.

In 2013, Target invested $1 million in United Way Worldwide and the education nonprofit StriveTogether. Our goal was to test a model for achieving results at scale. We leveraged Target’s resources, StriveTogether’s results-driven methodology, and the United Way’s massive geographic footprint. We did this by convening a cohort of seven United Ways to function as collective impact “backbone” (partnership-coordinating) entities and equipping them with the StriveTogether methodology.

One critical insight we’ve gleaned from our work is that funders seeking impact at scale must view their work within the context of a broader ecosystem and adjust their behavior in response to change within that system. This insight builds on the framework Bloom and Dees provided, which describes players and environmental conditions in which an organization operates. We call this idea ecosystem investing, and it is inherently more complex, requires a different set of assumptions, and produces different results than traditional programmatic investing. The following differences emerged during our pilot.

program_investing_chart_592_444Ecosystem investing requires funders to transition to a new set of behaviors and assumptions. (Image by Jeff Edmondson)

  • Transactional vs. transformational: Program investments are typically linear, often hierarchical relationships between funders and nonprofits. The dynamic is similar to a client (funder) purchasing services from a provider (nonprofit). By contrast, ecosystem investors consider transforming the way they operate just as they may expect a practitioner to shift the way they are delivering services. As an example, we have seen United Ways that are shifting their grantmaking process from a focus on individual programs to networks of practitioners working on a common outcome. They are transforming the way they do business to achieve better results at scale.
  • Answers vs. understanding: Program investment is a bet placed on a known answer. For example, a funder may see a successful program in one community and import it into another. Ecosystem investors meanwhile identify a process to help understand the conditions for change. Many United Ways, for example, have invested in a process for engaging community members to identify and scale local practices that are having impact.
  • Isolation vs. interrelation: Program investing often involves an individual funder working with a single nonprofit to achieve a desired result, while ecosystem investing requires that investors understand and engage the complex interplay of partners and variables to move a specific outcome. Ecosystem investors work together with practitioners and other stakeholders to create conditions and solutions that achieve concrete outcomes. In our pilot, some United Way staff had to clarify in meetings that they were not there as a traditional funder but as a committed partner working to engage over the long-term to make improvements.
  • Narrow and predictable vs. scaled and unpredictable: Programs often attempt to address a very specific and definable problem with a narrow and targeted intervention. As programs improve, their results become more predictable for the specific population they target. Ecosystem investing, on the other hand, yields unpredictable results precisely because it operates within a dynamic environment. A proposed solution might result in an unexpected set of stakeholders engaging more deeply, and emerging as critical champions or challengers. For instance, one United Way focused on kindergarten readiness ended up supporting a group of Hispanic mothers who emerged as the best emissaries for training their peers in promising practices related to early literacy.
  • Individual vs. collective: Small groups of organized individuals with highly aligned objectives can drive programs. Ecosystems require a host of partners—each of which brings its own set of priorities—and are constantly re-establishing equilibrium and redefining roles. We saw United Ways model this behavior by engaging relevant community partners, and then making adjustments to their own approach and priorities to ensure advancement of collective goals.
  • Immediate vs. sustained: Programmatic investors often seek to deliver results in a direct and time-limited manner. Ecosystem investors push for the achievement of specific goals against a timeline, but recognize the need for and support infrastructure to sustain impact over the long-term. As an example, rather than jumping immediately into new activities, one United Way initially worked with partners on a data collection method that would help them form an authentic understanding of what would lead to improved outcomes.
    In our pilot, all seven partners made significant, measureable progress building the civic infrastructure required to drive population-level outcomes for student achievement at scale.  This success was the result of funders actively modeling the behaviors above. All of those engaged in this work will tell you it is a heavy lift and a long-term proposition. Our experience is that ecosystem investing holds incredible promise for addressing our most complex social challenges.

    Source: Ecosystem Investing: Achieving Impact at Scale | Stanford Social Innovation Review