The total cost to train each entrepreneur is $48 (for the 25 session, 6 month course). This cost includes curriculum development, printed materials, trainer compensation, trainer management and administrative expenses during the six month course. In addition, entrepreneurs can participate in a quarterly coaching sessions to get additional assistance after they start a business. Since program inception, we have reduced this cost from $250 to $48!
We are currently equipping entrepreneurs in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Zambia. We are exploring opportunities to expand into other Sub-Saharan countries as well as South America and South East Asia. In addition, there is interest in starting programs to help Americans living in poverty.
Work for Life’s local instructors come through referrals by non-profit, community-based, faith-based, and international organizations in each region. Organizations must have a long term vision and integrity. We work to identify instructors from within our Location Partner Organizations in order to maintain the lowest cost possible.
Instructors go through a rigorous certification program. After completing several rounds of interviews, potential instructors must complete a 40 hour eLearning program and pass tests on each module. The eLearning program covers the entire entrepreneurship curriculum as well as sessions on effective training methods. Then, they are required to present several training sessions to Work for Life management to ensure that they understand the concepts and are able to teach well. Work for Life’s management staff visit each region twice a year to further develop the training staff.
Work for Life’s executive leadership team, all seasoned entrepreneurs, developed the curriculum with the assistance from subject matter experts in each area (see the “Co-Authors” page on our website). The Curriculum has been revised a number of times as we stay sensitive to the needs of people on the ground.
Absolutely. Since 2009, many of the people trained by Work for Life have gone on to start successful businesses creating real jobs. A few of their stories are told on the “Success” page on our website. There are many less publicized stories about the things Work for Life entrepreneurs are doing behind the scenes in their communities. For example, we recently heard about several Work for Life entrepreneurs who united to care for 16-18 children in their community, providing meals, school fees and other necessities. These are the most powerful examples of the ripple effect that is caused by helping people create jobs.
Work for Life has stringent requirements for our Location Partners and Instructors. Partners must have the capacity to implement the Entrepreneur Development Program and have a long term commitment to ending poverty. We are always looking for new location partners and instructors. Please contact us if you would like to refer anyone!
Work for Life is a non-profit organization founded by a group of business leaders in Austin, Texas with an interest in using business to help improve the lives of people living in poverty. Our entrepreneurship programs have been operating in East Africa since 2009. As we continue to see lives impacted, we are constantly on the look out for new opportunities. We are currently looking to expand into South America and South East Asia.
We have a unique opportunity to get behind our friends living in poverty and help them take action and become the solution to the problems that exist in their communities. We celebrate THEM as the change-makers. The entrepreneurs that step up and start businesses are the real heroes. Work for Life is merely a catalyst.