Faded Black Innovations is a tech-forward ‘NPO for NPOs.’ The FBI transforms conventional non-profit organizations into equipped social enterprises via an intensive incubation program lasting between 12 and 24 months. NPOs are given opportunities and support to become economically self-sustaining and impactful to their beneficiaries and community. These capacity-building and incubation efforts among almost 200 NPOs to date have won FBI Gold at Gauteng Premier’s Service Excellence Award in the Inclusive Economy category. Impressively, the FBI scooped the Job Creator of the Year Award from Brand South Africa this year and was recently nominated for Social Founder of the Year at the Foya Awards.
Sonwabo Modimoeng, director and co-founder at FBI addressed approaching empowerment in the true African way. That is, not waiting for opportunities, but creating opportunities. He believes that as black South Africans, the power lies in fading away from the perception that others must open the doors for us. As Sonwabo noted, however, social enterprises that can mitigate our country’s socio-economic challenges need effective support. By sparking innate autonomy and providing sufficient support he belives that together, non-profits can create effective social enterprise strategies for socio-economic benefit.
The FBI strives to facilitate NPOs to become social enterprises. And now for the ‘How?’ Firstly, NPOs are selected based on the humanitarian problem it is passionate about solving. Secondly, key members of the NPO begin incubation through workshops and training in areas such as purpose-based leadership, community engagement, community mapping & resource mobilization, financial literacy, and value proposition. Thirdly, NPOs in the incubation program benefit from between 12 to 24 months of support in the form of mentorship, resource mobilization, access to networks and resources, scaling of the social enterprise, monitoring & evaluation.
As a result of the model and its programs namely the incubation program and the ‘It’s Up to Me’ program,the Spark International evaluation founds that 76% of the attendees had positive behavioural changes through their learning at FBI. So far, over half of the attendees have registered their own non-profit organization. In addition, 72% have used their knowledge and skills to help and influence other young people about social enterprises.
Sonwabo asserts that the success of FBI is attributed firstly to the systems used and secondly, transparency to board members and funders regarding management of the NPO.
In the suburban township of Westonaria some 45 kilometres west of Johannesburg, this NPO is has adopted internationally renowned software and progressive project management systems. Using software like Sage’s accounting, planning, analytics, and human resources management tools powered by AI. Also, Trello and now Monday.com with over a million users worldwide, and checking in with Zoho People make accountability easy no matter where NPO members are located.
Sonwabo talks about the necessity of transparency. In addition to using the software, he teaches and encourages other non-profits to use it. Transparency at the touch of a button is now a reality. Transparency ensures that information is available to evaluate performance, especially when it comes to the management of funds. By establishing clear accountability, NPOs are able to establish their credibility, which is the key to their longevity. The NPO, its members, funders, and the environment have all benefitted from moving systems online, Sonwabo affirms.
Faded Black Innovations is the NPO for NPOs. A unique and impactful social enterprise incubator for South Africans who want to make a change. To continue their work, forming partnerships will help fund the incubation and post-incubation activities of the NPOs they serve. To date, the FBI has partnered with the Gauteng Department of Education, the National Youth Development Agency, the South African Breweries, Sibanye Gold and Old Mutual. The results are clear; that NPOs can be made into independent and self-sustaining social enterprises, with support. With investment, the FBI is able to offer workshops, software and training, co-working spaces, boardrooms, internet services, marketing and printing services, as well as provide equipment sponsorship, such as laptops and routers, to graduates. The ripple effect has already begun; positive socio-cultural change through enterprise for South Africans youth can be a reality. Shall we leave the intensity of those ripples to chance? To connect with Faded Black Innovations email the director email@example.com.