Our vision is to enable a growing economy and a society that works, powered by the potential of young people. We measure our success by the impact we make on the lives of the young women and men of South Africa:

3.5 million

work-seekers supported

1 million

opportunities enabled for work-seekers


employer partners

R17,5 billion

income for youth


This RCT assesses the impact of signaling information about workseekers’ skills on their beliefs about themselves and the labour market, their job searching behaviour, employer responses to their applications, and ultimately their labour market outcomes.

This study highlights the effects of youth employability programmes on young people struggling to access the labour market.

This study tests the relevance of professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn to work-seekers in emerging economies—specifically, unemployed youth in South Africa

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator : A Model for Reducing Unemployment in South Africa is the first Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Case featuring a South African social enterprise.



In recent years, government leaders, business executives and civil society champions have been aligning around common coalitions, evidence-based solutions, and more coordinated plans of action, including South Africa’s Presidential Youth Employment Intervention. In the next decade we will leverage this momentum to achieve a growing economy and a society that works, powered by the potential of young people.

We seek to do this by:

  • Creating industry alliances to generate jobs of the future
  • Supporting businesses to adopt inclusive hiring methods
  • Partnering with business and government to reduce barriers to accessing employment
  • Creating new ways of earning in the informal economy, and
  • Shifting government spend from input-based activities like training, to outcomes-based results like work experiences and job placement.
    • We will do this by designing solutions with youth at the centre and through active leadership coalitions across our society

      The priority is to impact the 3 million engaged youth who will actively seek work over the next 5 years by contributing to the creation of more jobs and income opportunities as well as a transformed work-seeking experience. In this way they continuously build their profile and grow their earning potential – this is what we call “pathway management”. We propose delivering 1 million jobs, work experiences, and income opportunities in the coming five years for this network of 3 million youth. This will lay the building blocks to triple our impact in the following five years.



    Segametsi from Hammanskraal dreamed of becoming a doctor, but couldn’t get into med school so began her studies in chemical engineering. After visiting a hospital and kids with preventable diseases, Sega decided to start Gideon Guard – a range of anti-bacterial sanitisers – to help communities protect their children and raise funds to finish her studies. After connecting to Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator she had the chance to pitch her business to the NYDA and won grant funding to level-up her hustle! Her business has grown from strength to strength.

    Buyisiwe was raised by her mother, an unemployed single parent of 4, in Katlehong. Despite hard times at home, she completed her matric and studied Environmental Science but was unemployed for nearly 2 years after graduating. After joining and then journeying through the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator programme, she successfully secured her first job at WebHelp as a call centre agent.

    Harambee supported the Western Cape Government with SA Youth, a self-service mass recruitment solution, to reach a wider range of unemployed youth for their opportunities plus process thousands of applications with ease. Over 33,000 applications and 1,400 placements.

    We partnered with the Department of Basic Education to help over 1.3 million young people to apply (data-free) for positions as school and general assistants at more than 23,000 schools across South Africa – in just 21 days!

    Harambee is supporting the automotive industry, a significant contributor to the economy in South Africa, to double employment by 2035 – unlocking potential through multi-stakeholder collaborations.

    Less than 5% of plumbers in South Africa are women. We are working to change that. Harambee is partnering with the Institute of Plumbers South Africa (IOPSA), BluLever Education and National Business Initiative (NBI) to unlock opportunities in the plumbing trade and pilot programmes with a focus on young women.