Terms like "social innovation" and "social entrepreneurship" are themes at C4L - both in terms of its training content and its community-level sustainable development interventions...
Nonprofit or For-profit?
C4L is a registered Nonprofit Organization. (#006-856-NPO)
It is also a Public Benefit Organization (#930000088)
It is not a business, but can rent out its own facility for the same purpose as its core business - training - without running afoul of the Taxman. In fact, government encourages NPOs to strive for higher levels of sustainability.
Over half of C4L's annual income is derived from grantseeking. Donors say they prefer the "project funding paradigm" so as not to create dependency among their Partners. This means that grants come and go, and that C4L needs baseline income to stay afloat between the project grants.
So self-generated income by charging for training (even when it is a "symbolic price") does not make C4L a business - but rather an innovative NPO. In this respect, by getting deeper into accredited training, the doors open to another kind of income - learnerships.
On the Opportunities for Youth page of this website, C4L's approach to youth empowerment is described. Training has been offered as Green Livelihoods.
However, the number of formal-sector jobs in South Africa has been shrinking for over a decade. This has sped up in the past 2 years of economic recession. So C4L is emphasizing SELF-EMPLOYMENT. What ever the technical skills are, every youth has to learn how to translate those skills into enterprise.
Three levels are on offer at C4L, all accredited by the Services SETA:
1. Micro-MBA, at elementary level
2. Business Practice, Level 1
3. New Venture Creation, Level 3
DIVERSIFIED GREEN COOPS
C4L is incubating a number of youth Coops at community level.
This started in 2011 with The Africa Power and Light Company or APOLICO for short. However, since then, the emphasis has been on Coops that are more local and diversified, not just on one aspect like solar.
The theme of micro-enterprise was adopted in 2010, following C4L's experience with New Venture Creation in 2006, in which every one of the 12 youth created a different enterprise. The success rate in that case was disappointing, so Coops seemed to offer a more structured approach to starting ventures.
C4L starts by training individual entrepreneurs. Then it encourages them to join together is solidarity groups as Cooperatives. DTI offers incentives to those starting Co-ops.
Coops exist at either Local Municipality level, or even at Ward level. Getting contracts from Municipal Managers (e.g. Water manager, Waste manager, Roads manager, Energy manager...) is seen as a huge opportunity. However, to do so, a registered entity is required with a bank account and tax registration. Thus the Coop can serve as an umbrella for various micro-entrepreneurs working on their own venture.
Youth Empowerment and Community Enlightenment are both at the heart of this initiative.