Most non-profits come into the global south with a charitable plan to help people, regardless of circumstances. Many times, they can bring a bad economic model, which ends up hurting the very community they were trying to help. That’s not our plan.
The Master Plan
It's not charity. It's prosperity.
Most businesses come into the global south and care about 1 thing: money. The people and the country itself are just means to an end. It might be good economics, but it’s got just 1 bottom line. We’re not that business.
Twelve year olds abandoning school and working in the fields to earn the cost of their food. Eighth graders failing the national exams and coming to the end of their formal education without practical job skills. Tenth graders who don’t qualify for university track, but don’t have access to technical training programs they can afford.
These realities of life in Ethiopia leave far too many kids unequipped to break the cycle of poverty and renew their communities from the inside out. They need training and mentoring to learn how to become leaders, how to get high-paying jobs, and how to build businesses on their own.
Hope Takes Root will create a purpose-driven technology company in Ethiopia that will develop mobile apps and deploy tech services for in-country businesses, hiring a mix of university trained experienced talent and student workers who are orphans and at-risk kids that have aged out of the academic system.
Like many countries in the global south, Ethiopia is leapfrogging earlier technology cycles and mobile penetration is growing tremendously. Small businesses run on a mix of disconnected PCs and mobile phones. While the Internet can be unreliable and premium smartphones are still beyond the reach of most, China is supplying a flood of cheaper Android devices to the market. To reach the broad spectrum of 51 million mobile subscribers, businesses can deploy an app and a SMS chatbot service for feature phone users.
Student workers will learn by doing, delivering on projects for clients and developing high-value job skills that can translate to employment or entrepreneurship after they graduate from the program. We’ll also provide student workers with life mentoring to equip them with the soft skills — leadership, critical thinking, business strategy, work ethic, punctuality and entrepreneurship.
Business profits will be owned by the mission of the initiative, with unit profitability of individual client projects rolled back into relentless expansion of impact on orphans and at-risk kids. After a two year program, graduating students will have the ability to find high-value employment, access to microloan or micro-investment programs for capital to start their own businesses, and the skills to be the business, community, spiritual and family leaders of their communities.
3 Bottom Lines
People are the Priority
When we say we have multiple bottom lines, we’re not kidding. We focus on building relationships. Our clients aren’t just a dollar sign to us – we strongly believe in the dignity of everyone that we work for or with. We strive for our employees to always be challenged, to be learning, and to be advancing.
Our focus on mentoring youth in a professional environment is our keystone. Our success depends on theirs.
Money doesn’t grow on trees…
The success of the mentoring program is predicated on the success of the business. Our software development and IT solutions will add value to Ethiopian businesses and end-users. In this developing economy, our software solutions have an excellent opportunity for expansion.
We believe that every orphan and underprivileged youth is a whole being. Our job is to care for that being: economically, socially, and spiritually. We want to transform their lives not just for the work week or for a few years, but that each of them has the opportunity to create a legacy. We strive for them to have a purpose beyond themselves and to create lasting change in their community.