Best Ideas 2021 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.

Aria Africa

Published on April 9, 2021 um 13:11

Explain your idea in details:

Our venture works on two parallel lines: Personal and societal economical development. Empowerment, education and social development. We are building a socially oriented tourism business where the youth are employed for a period that enables them, through our monthly salary saving system, to finance their own educational or entrepreneurial goals. During their time of employment, the participants also attend classes on financial management, entrepreneurship, leadership and life skills, all while receiving support in applying for higher education, diploma studies and vocational training programs. Our goal is to create a business model that is both self-sustained and profitable and provides youth with the opportunity to gain both the skills and the financial capacity to proceed to higher education and entrepreneurship, thus becoming citizens who support their countrys economic and social growth and development. Once the model is perfected through our pilot business, we wish to create a chain of socially oriented businesses. The aim is to also, eventually become a hub for other businesses to realize that social impact can be an asset to both their business and the community, helping them create a successful and impactful social plan as part of their vision. Our pilot business, Malcolm X backpackers, opened in December 2020 and is a backpackers hostel that provides accommodation for young travelers while employing local youths from marginalized communities to help prepare them for future endeavors. We focus on giving a travel experience that creates an unrefined encounter with the local community and culture while being in the frontline of sustainable tourism.

Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

Our beneficiaries are millions of unemployed and underemployed youth who grew up in slums and other marginalized communities wishing to uplift themselves by starting their own small enterprise \ acquiring higher education \ attending vocational training. Nevertheless, lacking the resources, connections and skills to pursue their aspirations deprives them of becoming financially independent, tax-paying members of society, and support their country's economy. We plan to use measurement tools that allow us to compare the beginning and end state of our participants while comparing with a control group as well. Our social impact evaluation will check a variety of quantitative and qualitative objectives measuring firstly the number of marginalized unemployed youth that acquire higher education or start a small business with the capital they have saved while participating in our program. We will evaluate the amount of individuals who have graduated from the program each year and whether they were able to pay their entire tuition or initial investment by themselves. We will also be looking at the percentage of program graduates who successfully completed the education program they signed for, successfully sustained a job in the occupation they studied or successfully started their own business and lastly, the percentage of graduates who are able to fully sustain their family after completing their further education program or the establishment of their business. Other social impact evaluations will also focus on the amount of time, money, and resources that are invested per individual in comparison to the life level achieved after the program as well as the number of businesses who agree to collaborate with us and employ unskilled youth from our program.

Plans for implementation and sustainability

Aria-Africas model is training and employing unskilled youth from slum areas in for-profit businesses while providing them with training, leadership and life-skill programs as well as scholastic guidance and a saving system for future tuition fees or venture capital. At the moment, Aria-Africa trains youth to work in its pilot tourism business - Malcolm X backpackers, where we provide accommodation for low-budget travelers. Our target audience and main revenue stream is low-budget travelers getting familiarised with our accommodation through known booking sites and social media promotion. We also formed collaborations with touring companies and other businesses where we receive commissions on each individual referred. These days we are working on expanding the services our pilot business offers with hope to increase our revenue while also being able to employ more youth. Once traveling resumes at higher rates, we expect a revenue of approximately 70,000$ per-year from the accommodation we already have. Once we see an improvement we intend to multiply the amount of accommodation we offer (into spaces we have and yet to renovate). The expansion has the potential to grow our revenue to 120,000$ per-year from accommodation alone. When we start offering other tourism and hospitality services, our revenue has the potential to grow much more. Aria-Africa uses the revenues to pay for the business operational expenses, upgrades, salaries, and the youth saving accounts. In addition, the revenues are used for workshops for the youth program and the scale-up of the business and social project.

Your profile

My name is Shiraz, I am 28 years old and in the past few years, I have worked with various organizations around the world. While working with youths in developing countries I realized it is not the lack of talent that stops them from moving forward to become active members of society and promoters of change. The main barrier is the lack of opportunities to gain the most basic skills ending up preventing youths from learning and fulfilling their potential. These roadblocks make it nearly impossible to become a fruitful member of society, and at times, even providing for themselves and their families with dignity is problematic. I am a firm believer that social ventures can only be truly successful and long-lasting if they can become self-sustained. The point: eliminating the variable of philanthropic donations. Building businesses where all parties involved work together towards economic independence as the base of their social project can drastically improve the chances of ongoing advancement and stability. With those beliefs I decided to build a social enterprise model which has the potential to grow to an unlimited scale, eventually being adapted and duplicated by a variety of businesses. These businesses could become a place for marginalized youths to discover their potential and become productive members of society, supporting their country's economy, and potentially bringing change to the lives of others around them.

Aria Africa introduction

Stage of Idea

start-up stage

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