MONTREAL; May 25, 2010 –Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and The Enablis Entrepreneurial Network today announced that the Accenture Foundations have awarded Enablis an additional grant of US$348,000 to help fund the organization’s support of entrepreneurs in Africa. This brings the total of direct support to Enablis in Africa to more than $2 million since 2007.
The award reflects Accenture’s corporate citizenship focus -- Skills to Succeed -- which educates people around the world, building skills that enable them to participate in and contribute to the economy. This grant will help facilitate Enablis’ efforts to develop, mentor and train entrepreneurs in East Africa, so they can build and scale strong, sustainable businesses.
In addition to the grant from the Foundations, Accenture plans to continue to provide Enablis with in-kind assistance and consulting services, as it has done since the organization’s inception. This support ranges from advisory services, including developing Enablis’ business strategy, to hands-on support for the pilot launch and rollout. Most recently, Accenture Development Partnerships developed the framework, feasibility study and action plan for Enablis’ expansion into Ghana.
“The fact that Enablis has reached close to 1,000 members in such a short period of time demonstrates that the model has found support among entrepreneurs throughout Africa,” said Bill Morris, managing director, Accenture in Canada and member of the global Enablis board. “We have found that providing a combination of grants and the time and skills of our people to not-for-profit organizations such as Enablis is an effective way to make a significant, lasting impact on the economic well-being of individuals and their communities.”
“Supporting Enablis helps bring to life Accenture’s commitment to building skills – drawing on our people’s passion, experience and dedication to developing and nurturing talent,” said Jill Huntley, senior director, Corporate Citizenship at Accenture. “Enablis is succeeding at a rapid pace and is proving that we can use entrepreneurship – and the building of entrepreneurial skills – to strengthen local economies through job creation, skills development and sustainable business growth.”
Enablis, a not-for-profit, public-private partnership, operates at the grass-roots level and is dedicated to delivering to its member entrepreneurs the loan financing, business management training, networking, learning, mentoring and coaching that are relevant to them and contribute to their sustainability.
The Enablis formula was tested at the end of 2009 by an independent research company, Research in Action, which found that 61 percent of Enablis’ members reported an increase in turnover in the previous year and that 88 percent felt they had improved their knowledge and business skills as a result of their involvement in the Enablis network.
“Enablis not only supports a growing membership base with exponential job creation but has also managed to significantly improve the cost effectiveness of its model, resulting in an impressive record of employment creation,” said Paul Lamontagne, CEO of Enablis. “The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2008 SA Report found that the mean number of jobs created by opportunity-driven firms is 4.4 per business, compared to the nine jobs created on average per Enablis member. We would like to thank Accenture for sharing our vision of empowering entrepreneurs and their ideas in Africa as a leading means of poverty alleviation.”
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 181,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. Accenture is committed to being a good corporate citizen – dedicated to minimizing its environmental impact and helping individuals around the world build skills that enable them to participate in and contribute to the economy. The company generated net revenues of US$21.58 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2009. Its home page is www.accenture.com
About Enablis Entrepreneurial Network Africa
Enablis Entrepreneurial Network is a member-based organization existing throughout the African continent. Founded by Accenture and Telesystem, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, the Enablis Entrepreneurial Network is a non-profit organisation (NPO) geared at leveraging and supporting entrepreneurial talent in developing economies. Enablis is driven by its professional network of entrepreneurs, governed by a sense of social sharing and networking. Enablis gives these entrepreneurs the opportunity to interact with one another through the Enablis platform and thereby to increase their capacity for entrepreneurial success. Enablis facilitates entrepreneurial skills development, access to finance, professional networking and mentoring to ensure economic stimulation and entrepreneurial sustainability in developing countries.
Currently, Enablis has close to 1,000 entrepreneur members in South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana.
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