The Future of Work Podcast: A pathway to employment in Africa with Sharmi Surianarain

06 May 2021

In conversation with Harambee’s Sharmi Surianarain, the Brenthurst Foundation talks through the development challenges facing Africa and some of the solutions on offer for economic growth and prosperity.

Scaling Pathways_Blog Header

Scaling Pathways: Leveraging Government Partnerships for Scaled Impact

19 Apr 2021

For many social enterprises, partnering with government in some way is an essential strategy for achieving impact, especially when seeking systems-level change. This study focuses on why government partnerships matter for scaled impact.


Learning Brief: Disrupting the Youth Labour Market: Harambee and Systems Change

This learning brief highlights the ways in which Harambee has evolved and the extent to which it has contributed to systems change.


Learning Brief: Gender Inequality: Harambee’s Lessons in the Labour Market

This learning brief provides an overview of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator’s learnings on gender inequality from nine years of work in the South African labour market.

These South African app builders are creating digital solutions for new opportunities

12 Apr 2021

With the mobile phone at the centre of Africa’s digital connectivity, creative entrepreneurs are leveraging technology to build the continent’s digital future.

South Africa awarded Top 2021 Most Favored Global Offshore CX Delivery Location

09 Apr 2021

South Africa, after three consecutive years in a humbling second place, has emerged as the number one global preferred front office CX offshore location.

Sector innovation creates new work from home call centre jobs for SA youth_image

Sector innovation creates new work from home call centre jobs for South African youth

24 Mar 2021

Collaboration between industry stakeholders proves it’s ability to unlock jobs.

Too big to fail? How about too big to implement?

Why economic growth plans should focus on sector-level solutions.

Business process outsourcing sector helps SA spring into jobs growth

11 Mar 2021

In partnership with the private sector, national government through the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), and youth employment accelerator Harambee the BPO sector has seen growth over the past year, with a growing pipeline of interested investors.

The Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator approach: growing the economy inclusively through ecosystem facilitation and sector intermediaries

A toolkit and case study for growing sectors inclusively.

Memo to Silicon Valley: Here’s what “blitzscaling” looks like in the non-profit world

05 Mar 2021

Stop asking us to follow in the footsteps of private sector unicorns. For us, impact at scale looks very different, write two non-profit CEOs.

Burning Fiscus | We need more than a vaccine: Will SA get a shot in the arm for its job loss epidemic?

“What is necessary is to figure out what is effective, scaling up what works and taking a long and serious look at the interventions that aren’t working,” Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator CEO, Maryana Iskander, told Fin24 this week.

Sankalp Summit 2021: Our Shared Impact Future

04 Mar 2021

Maryana Iskander, CEO of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, participates in the Sankalp Africa Summit on Our Shared Impact Future.

Breaking Barriers March 2021

25 Feb 2021

The impact of COVID-19 on the South African economy is hard to overstate.

Understanding systems change and addressing inequality

23 Feb 2021

Insights > Impact is a monthly digest of the most insightful articles we’re reading. Time is scarce, so we’ve summarised the articles for you and shared our key takeaways – focussing on the pieces we found to be most relevant and actionable.

LinkedIn to Job Opportunities: Experimental Evidence from Job Readiness Training

09 Feb 2021

This study explores the running of the first randomised evaluation of training work-seekers to join and use online professional networking platforms.

Siyakha Youth Assets Study: Developing Youth Assets for Employability

This study seeks to build evidence, based on what is already being implemented to address the challenge of what works in fostering better employment outcomes for young people who struggle to navigate labour market pathways.

Tilting towards equality: Can nudges improve gender inclusion?

08 Feb 2021

In the fight for greater gender equality and inclusion, governments, NGOs and other stakeholders are increasingly recognising the power of nudges to change human behaviour. The results are promising.

Job Search and Hiring with Two-sided Limited Information about Workseekers’ Skills

04 Feb 2021

This study shows that assessing work-seekers’ skills in multiple domains, giving them the assessment results, and helping them to credibly share the results with firms increases their employment and earnings.

Where is the Office?

28 Jan 2021

Maryana Iskander, CEO of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, shares her perspective around adapting to new ways of work in Episode 3 of Echo Radio’s “Where is the office?”.

Free training videos launched as part of safe back2work campaign

21 Jan 2021

As thousands of South Africans return to work from the far reaches of the country and beyond, workplace safety takes the spotlight. Anticipating this need, the Return2Work Initiative has launched a range of punchy and accessible safe back2work videos.

The social transformer

09 Dec 2020

Harambee’s Marzanne Collins believes technology can play a significant part in solving youth unemployment.

Covid-19: Education and labour market impact

03 Dec 2020

At Harambee we are committed to keeping you safe, smart and kind. We’re producing a monthly digest of the most insightful articles on youth employment we’re reading, and have focused on the pieces we found to be most relevant and actionable. Time is scarce, so we’ve summarised the articles for you and shared our key takeaways.

How a social compact is creating jobs in Gauteng

09 Nov 2020

Job creation at scale is best achieved in growth sectors. The digital economy continues to grow despite the current global recession, and we need to find ways to harness the opportunities this presents.

Digital economy: What kinds of jobs can help fuel economic recovery and growth?

04 Nov 2020

At least 3 million jobs have been lost this year and labour market participation by young adults has dropped a staggering 12 percentage points to just below 16%. If job losses persist, we will have lost a decade’s worth of job growth in only six months.

The Harambee Mapping of Digital and ICT Roles and Demand for South Africa Survey

03 Nov 2020

Take a deep dive into the critical roles to support growth in the digital economy, as well as the size and nature of offshoring of digital demand outside of South Africa.

The experience of South Africans during lockdown

28 Oct 2020

At Harambee we are committed to keeping you safe, smart and kind. We’re producing a monthly digest of the most insightful articles on youth employment we’re reading, and have focused on the pieces we found to be most relevant and actionable. Time is scarce, so we’ve summarised the articles for you and shared our key takeaways.

Breaking Barriers November 2020

20 Oct 2020

In this edition of Breaking Barriers, we explore opportunities for digital and ICT work that are accessible to unemployed youth, and what barriers must be removed for this to be a viable solution at scale.

“Side hustle” is not a swear word: How to make gigs work for young Africans

18 Oct 2020

Across the African continent, the concept of a “side hustle” is not new. This article explores the informal ‘side’ work that young people engage in to make ends meet. Ir advocates that side hustles, given their increasing presence in lives (and economies) across the world, can no longer be relegated to the margins of institutional and regulatory systems.

Emerging stronger from a crisis

12 Oct 2020

Stanford Social Innovation Review includes Harambee as they share battle-tested insights that can help social enterprises increase their impact as they navigate severe crises like COVID-19.

S4YE Knowledge Brief: How are youth employment programs adapting to COVID‒19?

08 Oct 2020

The World Bank’s Solutions4Youth Employment (S4YE) publication featured Harambee in their recent Knowledge Brief; highlight different ways in which youth employment projects, like Harambee, are adapting their strategies and delivery models in response to COVID‒19.

COVID-19 Economic Recovery Insights

28 Sep 2020

At Harambee we are committed to keeping you safe, smart and kind. We’re producing a monthly digest of the most insightful articles on youth employment we’re reading, and have focused on the pieces we found to be most relevant and actionable. Time is scarce, so we’ve summarised the articles for you and shared our key takeaways.

Social entrepreneurs are first responders to the COVID-19 crisis. This is why they need support

17 Sep 2020

In the COVID-19 crisis, social innovators and entrepreneurs, like Harambee, have once again shown their capacity to act as first responders, bringing affordable healthcare to those in need, protecting jobs and providing emergency relief swiftly.

When the Phone Rang, Harambee Answered – Over 1 Million Times: Partnering with Government in Complex and Uncertain Times

01 Sep 2020

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with face-to-face services largely suspended, there was an unanticipated need to amplify government infrastructure through alternative channels that were accessible and affordable to its youth and other vulnerable citizens.

August Women’s Month Insights

19 Aug 2020

At Harambee we are committed to keeping you safe, smart and kind. We’re producing a monthly digest of the most insightful articles on youth employment we’re reading, and have focused on the pieces we found to be most relevant and actionable. Time is scarce, so we’ve summarised the articles for you and shared our key takeaways.

A survey shows young women are bearing the brunt of Covid-19 unemployment

13 Aug 2020

Of the three million job losses in South Africa as a result of Covid-19, two million were held by women. While the deck has always been stacked against women, Covid-19 exposes the staggering inequalities and barriers that women face in finding, and keeping, work.

Woman who leads 40 engineers and developers explains why we should teach girls about tech bravery

12 Aug 2020

Marzanne Collins is the chief information officer of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, here she talks about her love for analytics and her desire to see more women in technology.

Eight top tips on scaling a social enterprise through mass disruption

Harambee’s Lebo Nke is featured alongside voices from leading social enterprises on how to navigate times of mass disruption.

Breaking Barriers August 2020

04 Aug 2020

The case for investing in women has never been more urgent. Of the 3 million job losses as a result of COVID-19 in South Africa, two-thirds are women.

The fight for access – digital and data light ways to connect those who are hard to reach

27 Jul 2020

At Harambee we are committed to keeping you safe, smart and kind. We’re producing a monthly digest of the most insightful articles on youth employment we’re reading, and have focused on the pieces we found to be most relevant and actionable. Time is scarce, so we’ve summarised the articles for you and shared our key takeaways.

‘Generation Unlimited’ expands digital learning and work skills opportunities for young people in South Africa

15 Jul 2020

UNICEF, UNDP, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, Future Africa at University of Pretoria, SuperSport Let’s Play, Afrika Tikkun join forces with young people to reimagine a better future post COVID-19.

The Future of Work: 5 Lessons Ring True As Harambee Enters its 10th year

13 Jul 2020

Accelerated by a global health pandemic, the “future of work” has arrived unannounced and before many were ready. To the paralysis of fear, these lessons offer the balm of action backed by evidence.

Using data to power scale

09 Jul 2020

Harambee recognised for embracing big data, small data, lean data, data privacy and machine learning trends to evolve around them at a rapid pace.

Harambee partners with the Solidarity fund

06 Jul 2020

Harambee has partnered with the Solidarity fund on the “Citizens in Solidarity” campaign. Aimed at board-based behaviour change across all sectors of society, the campaign encourages South Africans to unite and do their part to overcome the pandemic we’re facing.

6 Lessons Learned Moving from In-Person to Mobile Learning

30 Jun 2020

Sometimes you set your own audacious goal and sometimes your hand is forced by a once-in-a-100-year pandemic.

Six Innovators Pivoting to Face COVID-19

26 Jun 2020

USAID Development Innovation Ventures showcase Harambee’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown alongside other organisations from across the world who are working hard to pivot and create impact during this global crisis.

Falling Through the Cracks – SMES & Informal Workers

19 Jun 2020

At Harambee we are committed to keeping you safe, smart and kind. We’re producing a monthly digest of the most insightful articles on youth employment we’re reading, and have focused on the pieces we found to be most relevant and actionable. Time is scarce, so we’ve summarised the articles for you and shared our key takeaways.

Lift up young people’s voices: Tuzatsinda

11 Jun 2020

Harambee Rwanda, in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Rwanda Development Board and Kigali Employment Service Centre, launched the youth-focused Tuzatsinda campaign in April 2020.

Prospects of work for the lockdown generation

09 Jun 2020

We must act to keep young people from falling further into poverty and being permanently locked out of the economy.

Breaking Barriers June 2020

05 Jun 2020

South Africa’s 58% youth unemployment rate was already a crisis, even before the arrival of COVID-19.

Return2Work: Help to re-open your business safely and legally

26 May 2020 is an online tool to help businesses of all sizes re-open safely and legally, and to stay open.

Increasing digital platform use to help youth find work

19 May 2020

We explore platform use in developing economies and present new data on a low-cost, successful way to teach youth how to use these platforms.

Young people are telling us what they need, we have to listen

08 May 2020

Youth on the world’s youngest continent have something to say during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis: “Don’t just talk at us, talk with us and listen to what we need.”

Funzi mobile learning course to adapt and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic

07 May 2020

A case study on Harambee’s collaboration with Funzi, mentioning the partnership as one of the success factors in giving South Africa a head start on addressing misinformation at a community level.

2020 World changing ideas competition cites Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator

29 Apr 2020

Fast Company cites innovation of Harambee’s free platform for youth, which is now also supporting response efforts for COVID-19.

United Nations partner to launch data-lite mobile Covid learning program

08 Apr 2020

COVID-19: Adapt and Thrive, a data-lite, mobile education program that launched this week in South Africa will be scaled across the continent by the United Nations.

Halting human contact: how social enterprises are rethinking their business models during Covid-19

03 Apr 2020

What does the COVID-19 lockdown mean for social enterprises that usually work directly with vulnerable people and rely on face-to-face communication?

Harambee’s 5 Days, 5 Surprises

23 Mar 2020

Last week, Harambee launched our top 10 actions in response to COVID-19 guided by three simple rules to Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Kind. In 5 days, we learned from 5 surprises:

Hearing from Harambee: Our Top 10 Actions for COVID-19

15 Mar 2020

As the global response to COVID-19 accelerates, Harambee is being guided by the simple rules of Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Kind and here are 10 actions we are taking.

International Women's Day

Women who work for work; a real International Women’s Day celebration

08 Mar 2020

Even with an increased focus on legislation and diversity in the workplace, there are still significant differences in women’s and men’s ability to access economic opportunities.

Cyril Ramaphosa is on the right track with youth unemployment

25 Feb 2020

The government is listening to the experts on how to better prepare young people for the job market.

Tracey Swart

Youth employment in KZN gets a boost with appointment of new leadership at Harambee

24 Feb 2020

Tracey Swart, highly respected business leader with more than 20 years of experience, has joined Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator to assume leadership of the KZN business development team.

How can we get more young people working?

12 Feb 2020

We urgently need new ways of moving young people along non-linear, zig-zagging and increasingly short-term journeys from school to work. 

Breaking Barriers February 2020

10 Feb 2020

The familiar promise of more – more schooling, more skills, more training – no longer leads to more opportunity for South Africa’s youth.

Breaking Barriers October 2019

05 Nov 2019

South Africa has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world.

We must equip young people to bounce back into work

04 Nov 2019

Conventional wisdom assumes that if a young person can just get a first job, they will stay in work. Recent research shows this…
Read more >

What does nail polish and weightlifting have to do with inclusion?

‘If you can just get more skills, you’ll have a leg up on opportunity.’ This familiar promise is not holding true for a…
Read more >

How 18 minutes changed a life, the power of empathy

The employment conditions in South Africa are bleak. So bleak, in fact, that there’s an overall unemployment rate of 27%. That rate hits…
Read more >

LinkedIn to Job Opportunities: Experimental Evidence from Job Training in South Africa

20 Sep 2019

In 2016, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner shot videos like this to present his company’s ambitious vision for a global “Economic Graph” mapping every worker, company,…
Read more >


15 Sep 2019

5 lessons about evolving talent to drive impact at scale

The road to impact at scale is a nonlinear, complicated one! This just released report from Scaling Pathways, a partnership between the Skoll Foundation, USAID,…
Read more >

Reduce gender penalties to level the playing field for jobs

National Women’s Day (9 August) celebrates the courageous women of 1956 who fought for equality and freedom in South Africa. While progress has …

New funding to grow jobs and work experiences for work-seekers

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and LGT Venture Philanthropy have entered into a partnership that will support Harambee’s …

Breaking Barriers May 2019

23 Jul 2019

Social impact bonds addressing youth unemployment

In the nascent impact bonds market, employment is one of the most popular sectors, representing nearly a third of the deals contracted globally. After…
Read more >

The Kasinomic Entreprevolution

24 Jun 2019

Unemployment has been declared a national crisis in South Africa. Half of the countries youth are unemployed. Can entrepreneurship provide the answer? The…
Read more >

It’s all about employability

03 Jun 2019

The numbers released last month by Stats SA remind us that we have an unemployment crisis in South Africa, especially among youngsters. More…
Read more >

Harambee wins the 2019 Conscious Companies Award

27 May 2019

In celebrating South Africa’s visionary companies and leaders committed to business as a force for good, Harambee received the 2019 Conscious Companies award…
Read more >

Why ‘signals’ can matter as much as skills in youth employment

15 May 2019

It’s the same story time after time. Employers report not being able to find the right talent because of a lack of skills…
Read more >

Helping young people engage with opportunities outside of the formal sector

At 54%, South Africa has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world. At the forefront of this battle is Harambee Youth Employment…
Read more >

High unemployment is a symptom of South Africa’s economic malaise

26 Apr 2019

After leaving school in 2006 Delvia Mbalati spent the next 12 years looking for a job. Her search took her from her village in…
Read more >

Accelerating english through binge watching

05 Apr 2019

“One language is poverty,” Annah told us. “Two languages is wealth,” she said, breaking into a smile. For a young woman who has…
Read more >

Harambee wins the 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship 

01 Apr 2019

The Skoll Foundation announced today that Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator has received the 2019 Skoll Award…

Think you’re too small to become a top employer? Think again!

14 Mar 2019

Becoming an employer of choice is not only for large companies and corporations, nor is it as unattainable as you might…

Driving inclusive economic participation

01 Mar 2019

The Premier’s Service Excellence Awards that took place on 28 February 2019 recognise dynamic, high impact, responsive…

The cost of looking for work

We took a peek at the ITU’s (International Telecommunication Union – an agency of the UN) comparative price basket for a…

Getting to the meat of it – a demand for butchers

26 Feb 2019

Strange but true; there’s a demand in South African for butchers. This scarcity is in part driven by the high cost of a year-long…

Harambee disrupts South African BPO using impact sourcing

14 Feb 2019

Momentum around South Africa’s outsourcing sector continues in 2019, with that country’s BPO stakeholders charging…

Breaking Barriers Feb 2019

10 Feb 2019

Will AI be put to work for humankind – or will it be the other way around?

05 Feb 2019

It’s an overcast winter morning in Amsterdam and journalists from around the world are being herded into the Google…

Changing the System in 2019!

24 Jan 2019

Happy New Year from Harambee! As we gear up for the year ahead, we thank you for being on the journey of scale-up with us…

Partnership to equip 5,000 youth with digital skills

Key stakeholders in SA’s digital industries have partnered to create employment for youths. The organisations include…


Breaking Barriers November 2018

23 Nov 2018

10 steps to get young people working

28 Oct 2018

The summit, Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment, which was hosted by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator at…

We need to give youth a better deal in terms of jobs

22 Oct 2018

In a special message delivered on his behalf at the Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment conference in Cape Town on…

7 ways to get young people working

04 Oct 2018

These seven insights are drawn from Breaking Barriers, a quarterly analysis that draws on data gained from our engagement…

Breaking Barriers August 2018

24 Aug 2018

Harambee is developing an alternative ‘Pathwaying Platform’

10 Aug 2018

In April, the annual Skoll World Forum brought together social entrepreneurs from around the world to discuss topics…

Google highlights our use of big data to solve youth unemployment

27 Jul 2018

On 25 July, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator was one of only two organisations featured on stage at the Google…

Three learnings for Harambee’s Lean Impact Pilot

25 Jul 2018

“We shifted our processes to focus on assessments that include – not exclude – and worked with employers to change their…