One Global Economy

One Global Economy (OGE) works with under-served communities to create and implement information-based development strategies to help households and individuals raise their standard of living, join the economic mainstream, and innovate local solutions. The digital age offers great opportunities for economic growth. Yet millions of people are excluded, either because they are poor, live in remote areas or developing countries, or lack training in digital literacy. This digital divide prevents pe...
Apr 28, 2015

215 Trained: Technology & Cyber Security for SMMEs

MEP participants, Forum4Change with James
MEP participants, Forum4Change with James
Through its Mobile Entrepreneurship Program (MEP), OGE has delivered entrepreneurship, technology and Internet safety training to 215 aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Johannesburg townships of  Ratanda, Daveyton, Thokoza, Ivory Park, Orange Farm and Meyerton. 
Over 65% of participants come to MEP lacking basic digital literacy skills.  Training in basic technology equips them with the skills needed to set up and use an email address for their business communication needs, create an online presence for their business, learn to use social media for marketing as well as create an online professional profile to build their network.   
With a new program focus on cyber security for small business owners and entrepreneurs, participants are learning best practices for protecting personal identity and preventing common threats targeting small business owners such as information theft.  Local Trainer, James Sekhonyane leads participants through online and research-based activities during each workshop to learn and practice basic technology and Internet safety skills.  OGE is also expanding upon its South Africa Beehive Internet safety content (contributed by the Symantec Corporation) through a monthly article series focused on entrepreneurs and small business owners as first-time Internet users, which, in addition to entrepreneurship-focused resources, are sent to MEP participants following workshops through email and SMS.
The emphasis on technology and Internet safety skills complements MEP's intensive training on hard business skills in financial literacy and marketing and soft skills in leadership, presentation and networking.

Gugu, a 34 year old woman from Daveyton, runs a business selling handbags in her neighborhood.  Through MEP, she broadened her basic business marketing know-how by learning new and effective strategies for communicating her offering to her market. Other entrepreneurs, like Gugu, are excited to utilize social media tools to expand their marketing and reach.

Given from Ivory Park owns a car wash in his neighborhood, where he has seen similar businesses enter the market. MEP helped him prepare to compete with other local car wash businesses.  "The MEP training has helped me to identify my financial needs and prioritize so that I can save for my business in order to be competitive."   

All MEP participants receive weekly text messages to support their growth and guide them through the adoption and application of technology skills essential to starting and improving their businesses. 

OGE is grateful for the support it receives from Global Giving donors to continue MEP!

Jan 27, 2015

Mobile Entrepreneurs Program Launch 2015

Local Trainer, James Sekhonyane leads MEP workshop
Local Trainer, James Sekhonyane leads MEP workshop
        One Global Economy (OGE) is gearing up to launch this year's Mobile Entrepreneurs Program (MEP).  In February, OGE will launch the program in 6 rural townships throughout Johannesburg, (Heidelburg, Daveyton, Ivory Park, Thokoza, Meyerton and Orange Farm) to train street vendors, informal small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in technology skills and the soft and hard skills needed for business incubation and micro-enterprise development.  With support from Symantec Corporation and Global Giving donors, OGE plans to serve 200 participants and incorporate a new focus on cyber security and Internet safety best practices for small business owners, as well as develop partnerships with local organizations to connect participants to a variety of opportunities and resources.  
 
        Training on cyber security and Internet safety best practices can build entrepreneurs’ cyber security awareness, and empower them to protect their businesses from common threats such as information theft and fraud. Small businesses often encounter cyber security issues because they cannot afford state of the art software to protect themselves from loosing information to hackers and competitors. Many participants in the program lack the information to make decisions about and implement adequate security plans.   South Africa’s recently approved National Cyber Security Policy Framework was developed in response to the rise of cyber crimes over the past few years that have had a detrimental effect on the economy and target vulnerable populations such as emerging business owners.  
 
        OGE is excited to launch this year's program in the coming weeks and offer a new training topic in addition to digital literacy, leadership, professional and entrepreneurship skills building activities and support participants' growth through text messages!
Oct 21, 2014

8 Communities Reached, 91% Created Business Plans

Meyerton MEP Graduates
Meyerton MEP Graduates
By the end of the 2013-2014 Mobile Entrepreneurs Program (MEP), One Global Economy (OGE) engaged over 400 aspiring entrepreneurs, street vendors, and small business owners.  The program reached 8 rural townships and communities in Johannesburg and Durban, the highest number of communities OGE has served in a given year, many of which do not have access to training opportunities in entrepreneurship, technology, and financial literacy skills.
 
In addition to delivering its intensive training workshops, MEP offered all participants virtual mentoring through SMS. Through text messages, the local trainer reinforced learning, and disseminated tips and information to track progress and success, engaging in 2-way communication at times, to coach entrepreneurs on specific topics. Text message content corresponds to both workshop material and concepts learned, as well as desired results in business planning, financial literacy, and technology skills application, providing participants with guidance at every stage in starting and growing their enterprise.
 
After the last round of workshops this summer, OGE evaluated the 375 participants, who remained in the program out of a total of 400, and their achievement of the desired results.  Program activities have contributed to the following results:
 
1) 60% opened a bank account 
 
2) 91% created a business plan 
 
3) 29% increased their savings for business growth by 25% 
 
4) 11% monitored bank accounts online and/or through SMS alerts 
 
5) 22% accessed 10 government and/or private local services for education and/or financial support using the Internet 
 
6) 10% increased profits by 20% 
 
7) 14% increased new business opportunities by 15% 
 
8) 40% established partnerships in a joint business venture
 
9) 25% found a job opportunity online.
OGE hopes to work in partnership with the Symantec Corporation for its 2014-2015 program to incorporate a focus on cyber security for small business owners and entrepreneurs.  

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