Our Experiment in #SocialEnterprise…

Yes, we want more Black businesses listed in our Ujamaa Club online directory, but more importantly is that we have some enterprising Black youth to sign them up; so we can pay them for their work, upgrading their communication skills and for their diligence to learning the practice of entrepreneurship.

Our flagship youth development initiative, Streets University exists to create that missing bridge between local business concerns, common cycles of commerce, and to do so by providing those with a desire to learn; the opportunity to earn a respectable income while learning a marketable skill. Unlike our agency’s humble beginnings in 1993, a lot has changed via computer technology; which now allow us to use the power of internet technology in ways that can truly empowers our neighborhoods like never before.

Our directory(s) weren’t created in 1995 to serve as a competition to other Black or other online business directories, but to serve as our own in-house learning tool (product/service) for youth that get involved in our tech/enterprise development income opportunity program. In time we anticipate that it will also serve as the primary source of revenue generated by our agency. #socialenterprise

The enterprising activities we have created through trial & error has produced a unique way to put money into the pockets of young people that have come through our doors; and we have done this for some time now. Over time, we find that compensating youth for doing the work they can do, opens their minds to learning more complex tasks, and also allows us to better task them to use tech skills that are in demand; and those which pays a decent amount of money.

Through year-long workshops, access to mentors/advisors, field trips, guest speakers, special projects and regular assignments… StreetsU is about gradually opening their minds up to other potential career possibilities; so that they are no longer conditioned to focus primarily on sports & entertainment, fast-food or low-wage/low-hour retail work.

IBSA, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established in 1993, so we are not new to this. As longstanding issues of social inequity become even more relevant today, we believe that now is the time for us to bring our formalized opportunity’s for youth enterprise development, tech instruction, community leadership and personal achievement to the larger set of young people still locked into impoverished cities across the nation.