We were very excited to launch our Specialised Services (a.k.a. Bespoke Projects) into the world and have had really wonderful uptake on our services. We first conceptualised our Bespoke / Specialised Service as a way to diversify our funding base with some innovative independent income generation. All income from our specialised services goes directly into covering our administrative costs, which contributes to being able to keep our programs accessible and enable us to scale our impact more rapidly.
2016 has been the first year we dedicated resources to build this complementary service and we’re happy that it has been a massive success on many fronts. First, the income generated from our new services helped us to independently cover a portion of our core administrative costs that funders generally have limitations funding. Although the contribution was only 15% in this first year, it is a strong proof of concept that definitely gives impetus and hope for the future.
Secondly, we realised that through Bespoke we are also able to open ourselves up to have reach and impact in different areas beyond what would be possible in our core programs. We’ve been able to work with enterprise development projects, internship programs, and work on capacity building for other NGOs. It has challenged us in the way we work as an organisation, stretched us to new ways of looking at opportunities and our response, encouraged us to seek greater partnership and collaboration.
The best part is that we got to be involved in and contribute to some really cool initiatives, a few of whihc are listed below:
An initiative of the First Rand Foundation, the KhulaSangam Programme is an international internship programme for IT graduates. We provided personal and leadership development training to prepare selected participants to for their internship experience in India as well as how they could improve their job search when they returned.
We partnered with SOS Children’s Villages to provide training for 44 youth from across the country in a customised program to build their personal capacity and key skills (such as financial literacy and CV-building) to prepare them for life after their time in the Village. It was an eye-opening experience for everyone in attendance and we are honoured to have had an opportunity to expand our training and impact with this program.
We are worked with Malati Research and Empowerment to empower young women through the Happy Days Pads & Cents Enterprise Development Program, where young women gaining business experience as re-sellers of Happy Days Pads. As enke, we are the training providers delivering a 6-month program to equip selected young women with business skills, financial management knowledge, the ins and outs of starting a business, requesting funding or support and putting in place a marketing strategy, and more.
Ikamva Youth is one of the best tutoring and education improvement organisations in South Africa. We worked on 2 programs, a Staff Development Project and facilitating their National Strategic Planning Week. For the Staff Development Project, we developed a 6 month training and coaching program to build the facilitation skills of staff at the organisation to strengthen their stakeholder communications, training of tutors and overall interpersonal communication within teams in branches across the nation.