Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
Skills to Succeed
Explain your project in details:
Skills to Succeed (StS) works closely with economically disadvantaged young people. Focussing particularly on unemployed youths and women, StS fosters youth employability through developing labor market relevant vocational skills with a special emphasis on work-based learning and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, StS is working on improving the quality of life and on empowering women and disadvantageous communities in South Tunisia. Skills to Succeed has supported more than 200 entrepreneurs towards launching their sustainable projects. Moreover, StS has worked to develop workforce capacities through tailored trainings that meet job market needs. Last but not least, StS was the first local organization to deliver a full training package in Tataouine that reached 50 local NGOs to create a positive change in local institutions and community members. We are not a technology-based start-up. However, we are innovative by nature, because there is not such an organization as ours in the region to increase social inclusion of youth through employment and training. And the fact that we strongly support young women to start their business give us an important, differential aspect. Also, we apply sophisticated project management techniques and comply with international standards for financial management, to guarantee efficiency and the best value for money. Besides, within our programmes we support those initiatives with a higher component in innovation, trying to match the skills needed with the ideas of our young beneficiaries.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Skills to Succeed key achievements: More than 1,300 direct beneficiaries were trained and coached, impacting more than 6,600 community members. 51 small businesses and 368 jobs were created. 963 beneficiaries were trained in different disciplines including pipe-welding, pipefitting, instrumentation and desert defensive driving, building a business and other technical trainings, such as hydroponic green barley production, arts & crafts, alternative tourism, etc. A top welding laboratory at the Tataouine Vocational Training Centre (TVTC) was equipped. Welding and pipefitting programs are now part of the core curriculum of the center. StS project invested in equipment and training at the Higher Degree Institute of Technological Studies (ISET) in Tataouine and hired internationally qualified experienced instrumentation trainers. 60 welders, 40 pipefitters and 38 instrumentation technicians from Tataouine have successfully obtained an internationally recognized certification from TÜV Austria Academy. Students were provided with certified training in English language and in Health, Safety, and Environment. StS initiated the first gypsum lab in TVTC and trained 5 women and 13 men. To date, 70% of graduates of the Vocational Training Program have secured jobs and internships. Besides technical and personal training opportunities, StS offers hope for a better future to the local community and a strong proof by the youth of Tataouine that positive and fast change is possible. The project has been awarded numerous prizes such as the Oliver Kinross Africa Oil & Gas award in 2013 and the TRIGOS award Austria in 2015. The organization believes that the economic activity is the best means to have a positive social and environmental impact. This is a little bit in line with 2030 Agenda, which gives importance to the private sector as a catalyzer of opportunities and prosperity for all.
Sustainability and future plans
The long-term sustainability of our program is a high priority for Skills to Succeed Organization. We will continue to develop our staff and boards ability to fundraise in order to diversify our revenues. Our funding strategies include building relationship with other foundations, cultivating support from corporate sponsors and individual donors, increasing revenues from special events, refining our annual appeal process, and exploring income generation activities. We are confident we will be able to increase our programmatic and organizational sustainability through a combination of several strategies: - Strengthening both board and staffs fundraising capacity through professional development opportunities - Building and sustaining relationships with other local foundations - Developing stronger ties to local corporations as well as to small businesses - Improving and innovating on our special events in order to bring in more revenues - Evolving our annual mailing campaign through innovative donor-centric communication - Expanding our individual donor cultivation activities, and - Exploring earned-income strategies We believe that through a robust fundraising plan combined with an organizational culture of philanthropy, Skills to Succeed will be able to sustain, expand, and scale its program to effectively serve the community for the long-term. In brief, StS is at the forefront of innovation, which we will apply to increase its long-term sustainability and impact. Through collective mind-melding, board and staff will harvest synergy and shift the paradigm for evidence-based crowdsourcing to achieve its planned objective: Being financially sustainable by 2020.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
My name is Achref Chibani, 30 years old, and I occupy the position of VET and Capacity Building Officer at Skills to Succeed Organization. I am an exceptionally motivated and enthusiastic professional, with several years experience in Translation, Communication and Capacity Building. Through my past and present experiences in Economic Development and Youth Empowerment, I have proven to be competent, hard-working, passionate and brave enough to take initiatives, think on my feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and blend in well as a member of a group. Very often, I have worked in adverse conditions but dared to take risks, not fearing failure nor panicking or making mistakes; I am cognizant of the fact that success depends on going a little beyond. It is worth noting that I have already participated in The Entrepreneurs for Social Change (E4SC) which is a program organized by The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with Fondazione CRT. It brings together young people from the Euro-Mediterranean region to enhance the skills needed to boost a business idea with a social mission, and be a powerful motor of economic development and social inclusion. I have been very lucky to work a great team of passionate, talented and generous colleagues (now friends) which have guided my decisions on the right path. And applying common sense is a basic but very effective approach. However, I know that professional guidance and expert monitoring is essential for scaling up the activity and to improve the impact. In fact, I firmly believe that youth citizen entrepreneurship offers a very valuable opportunity to access very enriching and inspiring people, with many previous experiences and future successes.