Accenture Foundations Give US$1.5 million to help Enablis Bolster Entrepreneurship in Africa
In addition to the grant from the Accenture Foundations, Accenture will continue to provide Enablis with consulting services, as it has done since the organization’s inception. These have ranged from advisory services, including developing Enablis’ business strategy, to hands-on support for the pilot launch and rollout. Most recently, the company developed the framework, feasibility study and action plan for Enablis’ expansion into sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, Accenture Development Partnerships, a not-for-profit group dedicated to providing support to the international development community, developed Enablis’ business plan for East Africa.
Enablis, a not-for-profit, public-private partnership, operates at the grass-roots level and is dedicated to delivering to its member entrepreneurs all the networking, learning, mentoring and coaching that are relevant to them and will contribute to their sustainability. Developed from a concept generated through the G8’s Digital Opportunities Task Force, the organization also provides its 300+ members with finance, to help ensure success. This is particularly important for businesses that fall between the thresholds for micro-credit and venture capital.
An independent survey of Enablis members, released in January 2007, found that for each entrepreneur assisted by the organization, four new jobs on average have been created in industries that include IT telecom, tourism, services, agri-business and transportation, among others.
“We’ve found that giving a combination of grants and our time and skills to not-for-profit organizations is the optimal way to effect change, and Enablis is a perfect example of the success of that model,” said Jill Huntley, director of Corporate Citizenship at Accenture. “The organization is succeeding at a rapid pace and is proving that we can use entrepreneurship to strengthen local economies through job creation, skills development and sustainable business growth.”
Accenture, one of Enablis’ Global Partners, was a founder of the organization and holds seats on the board of directors of Enablis Global, the Enablis South Africa and the Enablis East Africa.
“This is the largest single private-sector gift received by Enablis to date,” said Charles Sirois, Enablis Founder and Global Chairman. Separately, the Government of Canada, though Canada Fund for Africa, contributed Can$10 million to support Enablis.
“Private sector development and entrepreneurship have been recognized as the engine of economic growth in developing countries," continues Sirois. "However, entrepreneurship has historically been impeded by lack of capacity and access to financing. Economies are significantly impacted by the small, medium, and micro enterprise (SMME) sector. Enablis assists entrepreneurs to enable them to take their businesses to the next level, positively contributing to economic growth of the nation.”
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 158,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$16.65 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2006. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
About Enablis Entrepreneurial Network
Enablis is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organisation that supports entrepreneurs in the developing world through its member-driven network. The Enablis model identifies entrepreneurs in the developing world – both those with and without existing enterprises – and provides them with a blend of tailored coaching, mentoring, ICT skills-development and networking, as well as an innovative form of financing designed to fill the financing gap between the micro-credit and venture capital thresholds. The home page is www.enablis.org.
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