In her two weeks of training, Tiza didn’t stand out much. She was quiet and apprehensive with her new job. Training isn’t easy and we’d expected that Tiza wouldn’t make it through the material.
We were wrong.
After one month, Tiza had surpassed all her goals and proven herself as one of our top Data Specialists. Before joining Impact Enterprises, she had no career prospects. Like so many young Zambians, she had finished grade school with outstanding marks but entered a world that offered no opportunities. Her CV listed no formal job experience and she was idling in a world that desperately needed a new generation to carry the country forward.
In a country where unemployment after graduation is the norm, the social impact of our work can already be seen rippling through our community.
For 57% of our employees, working at Impact Enterprises is their first formal job. We are laying the foundation for their professional careers and presenting a path away from the informal employment that most young Zambians are restricted to.
On a day-to-day basis our employees are improving their computer skills and know-how, typing, and English language ability. We provide focused training sessions on web research, computer software, and information management. They engage in weekly discussions on workplace skills like communication, conflict resolution, and creative thinking.
All this enhances their abilities, strengthens the workplace cohesion, while providing improved services for our clients. It’s a win-win-win.
According to the Zambian Central Statistical Office, 1.7 million urban youth are unemployed in Zambia – the age group Impact Enterprises directly hires from. By providing them jobs in the digital world, we are engaging the youth of Zambia who have so much untapped potential, like Tiza.
Our employees are also becoming role models for their peers. Highcom Training Institute, the local IT training center that is a primary recruiting partner, has reported increased interest and enrollment in its courses due to the attractive prospect of finding employment.
Interviews with our team show us just how important their jobs are to them. For Clement, it’s the financial security for starting a family. For Loveness, it’s a chance to save independently for her dreams of attending university. For Eugene, it’s led to a newfound passion for IT and the desire to study computer science. These are just a few of our success stories.
After three months at Impact Enterprises, Tiza submitted her resignation letter; happily, she was leaving for college thanks to the salary she had earned. Her transformation during her few months of employment demonstrates the potential that every young adult possesses here in Africa.
For most start-ups, each employee lost is a shortfall. For us, these are achievements.
Doing good while doing well is at the core of Impact Enterprises. We are far from realizing our full potential, but are already proud of the social impact our work has created. Zambia is a country of great potential, but a lack of opportunities is letting a generation of talent go to waste. Our work is changing this, one job at a time.