GISA Impact Sourcing Influencer: Harambee

Using the Power of Partnerships to Achieve Scale


Solving the global youth unemployment challenge is a massive feat for any one entity.

But for Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, it can be possible by living up to the meaning of its name in Swahili of “all pull together.”

By partnering with business, government, industry, associations and many other stakeholders, Harambee is committed to creating massive jobs for Africa’s young people through impact sourcing.

Over the past decade, the not-for-profit social enterprise has made a sizable reduction in the staggering unemployment rate, supporting a network of over 500,000 work seekers, providing over 100,000 jobs and work opportunities for young people, and partnering with more than 450 employers.

Still, the crisis remains much voluminous with millions of young men and women between the ages of 18 and 35 out of work.

Influencing Massive Adoption   

Building on its success as a youth job employment accelerator, Harambee is now taking on a more critical and meaningful influencer role working with the government of South Africa to drive mass adoption of impact sourcing.

Harambee partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to recognize impact sourcing as a core mandate for the country and to amend its incentive program to include these inclusive hiring practices as key criteria to receive government stimulus.

The policy change is expected to help drive catalytic adoption of impact sourcing across the entire sector, according to Harambee’s Chief Information Officer Evan Jones.

Through a new five-year partnership with DTI and the industry association, Business Process enabling South Africa (BPESA), Harambee has begun to implement a strategy to reach the goal of doubling the size of the sector by having 20 percent of all new entry-level jobs in South Africa – or 10,000 positions – meet its definition of impact sourcing.

Overcoming Misconceptions  

Having placed thousands of youth in jobs with large operators, Harambee has found that impact sourcing yields lower attrition and absentee rates, and high performance and return on investment.

“People are always under the misconception that impact sourcing is high cost and risky,” Jones said. “We can certainly demonstrate with empirical evidence and data that there is a very attractive business case.”

Combining its impact sourcing value with South Africa’s attractiveness right now as an offshore location, Harambee hopes to catch the attention of buyers and elevate its visibility as a high-quality option.

And partnerships will continue to be critical to the success Harambee aims to achieve.

“Winning the GISA award from IAOP and the Rockefeller Foundation couldn’t come at a better time as we are building confidence with business and industry,” he says. “This recognition gives us such energy and confidence and helps our partnerships tremendously.”


Harambee is a not-for-profit social enterprise with extensive experience building solutions and innovations that can solve the global youth unemployment challenge.

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