YUVA Academy is a social enterprise that sells empowerment programmes to the young people of Mauritius and then reinvests the money it makes back into the local community to support the education, health and employment of Mauritian families living in poverty.
This social entrepreneurship venture allows YUVA to tackle social problems, improve people’s life chances, support communities and help the environment. So, when we profit, society profits.
To be the top speciality school in Mauritius and among the leading speciality schools in Africa by preparing students to deal with local, national and global leadership challenges.
YUVA Academy is dedicated to teaching and directly applying knowledge to improve a diverse community and educate students to become globally competent ethical leaders working and serving a complex and ever-evolving world.
- To be recognised as a progressive and connected community for thought leadership in Africa, globally renowned for excellence in education and research.
- To expand education to different parts of Africa and serve its diverse people, especially minorities and geographically undereducated and low-income populations.
- To be a concerted scholarly community distinguished by partnerships with international institutions and organisations, to cross inter-institutional boundaries and offer our students the best educational experience and most innovative instruction possible.
- To graduate leaders who value interdependence and global competence, who will be productive citizens with a great sense of social responsibility and skills to build a sustainable community.
YUVA Academy is owned by the YUVA Training Limited (Company No. 154462), registered under the Mauritius Qualification Authority as a Training Institution (Registration No. 03079).
YUVA Academy’s 3 speciality schools:
As austerity measures deepen, are big businesses unwittingly contributing to social injustice? If so, who will fill the gap they are leaving?
Recent political and financial events have seen businesses retrench, dig in and attempt to ride out the storm. To many, this suggests that the corporate world is being indifferent to its social responsibility. Community projects are being curtailed, and charity cash donations are drying up. The impact can only be detrimental.
Unlike other countries, Mauritius is lacking in producing social entrepreneurs who are often seen as the antithesis of corporate enterprise and tend to stand shoulder to shoulder with social justice issues. They strive to create new models that aim not only to deliver shareholder value (for social entrepreneurs are still business people, after all) but also to share some of that value elsewhere. Today’s social entrepreneurs look for alternative ways to run successful businesses that are not dependent on traditional power models. Wealth is considered more than a healthy bank balance, and value becomes more than just cash. The social entrepreneur ensures that some of their wealth benefits the wider society.
Taking this theory as a foundation, YUVA created the YUVA Academy as a social enterprise.
The YUVA Academy seeks to transform Mauritius by developing a robust network of young leaders who will work together to address Mauritius’ most significant challenges, achieve extraordinary social impact, and accelerate the country’s growth trajectory.
Mauritius’ greatest need is ethical and entrepreneurial leadership. Too often, we only invest in addressing the symptoms of poor leadership in Mauritius: we give blankets, food, and medicine to those impacted by poverty, or we cannot create enough jobs for our young people. But these efforts will never stop unless we develop leaders who prevent adopting good governance, entrepreneurs who create jobs, and innovators that develop lasting solutions to the root causes of Mauritius’ problems. We aim to build the future Nelson Mandela, the next Wangari Maathai, and the Mauritian Bill Gates.
The YUVA Academy sells empowerment programs to the young people of Mauritius. It then reinvests the money it makes back into the local community to support the education, health and employment of Mauritian families living under the poverty line. This social entrepreneurship venture allows YUVA to tackle social problems, improve people’s life chances, support communities and help the environment. So, when we profit, society profits.
As a social enterprise, the YUVA Academy plays the role of a change agent in the social sector by:
- Adopting a mission to create and sustain social value (not just private value),
- Recognising and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities to serve that mission,
- Engaging in the process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning,
- Acting boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand, and
- Exhibiting heightened accountability to the clients served and for the outcomes created.
Change agents in the social sector
The YUVA Academy acts as a reformer but with a social mission. It makes fundamental changes in the way things are done in the social sector. Our vision is bold. We attack the underlying causes of problems rather than simply treating symptoms. We reduce needs rather than just meeting them. We seek to create systemic changes and sustainable improvements. Though we may act locally, our actions have the potential to stimulate global improvements in our chosen arenas, whether that is education, health care, economic development, the environment, the arts, or any other social field.
Adopting a mission to create and sustain social value
This is the core of what distinguishes social entrepreneurs from business entrepreneurs, even from socially responsible businesses. For YUVA Academy, the social mission is fundamental. This is a mission of social improvement that cannot be reduced to creating private benefits (financial returns or consumption benefits) for individuals. Making a profit, building wealth, or serving customers’ desires may be part of the model, but these are means to a social end, not the end in itself. Profit is not the gauge of value creation or customer satisfaction; social impact is the gauge. YUVA Academy looks for a long-term social return on investment. We want more than a quick hit; we want to create lasting improvements. We think about sustaining the impact.
Acting boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand
We do not let our limited resources keep us from pursuing our visions. We are skilled at doing more with less and attracting resources from others. We use scarce resources efficiently, and we leverage our limited resources by drawing in partners and collaborating with others. We explore all resource options, from pure philanthropy to the commercial methods of the business sector. Sector norms or traditions do not bind us. We develop resource strategies that are likely to support and reinforce our social missions. We take calculated risks and manage the downside to reduce the harm that results from failure. We understand the risk tolerances of our stakeholders and use this to spread the risk to those who are better prepared to accept it.
Exhibiting a heightened sense of accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created
Because market discipline does not automatically weed out inefficient or ineffective social ventures, the YUVA Academy takes steps to ensure it is creating value. This means that we seek a sound understanding of the clients we are serving. We make sure we have correctly assessed the needs and values of the people we intend to serve and the communities in which we operate. In some cases, this requires close connections with those communities. We understand the expectations and values of our “investors,” including anyone who invests money, time, and expertise to help us. We seek to provide real social improvements to our beneficiaries and our communities and attractive (social and financial) return to our investors. Creating a fit between investor values and community needs is essential for the challenge. When feasible, we make market-like feedback mechanisms to reinforce this accountability. We assess our progress in terms of social, financial, and managerial outcomes, not simply in terms of our size, outputs, or processes. We use this information to make course corrections as needed.
To conclude, as social entrepreneurs, we think we are one particular breed of leaders, and we should be recognised as such. This definition preserves our distinctive status and assures that social entrepreneurship is not treated lightly. We need social entrepreneurs to help the country find new avenues toward social improvement.
What is a Social Enterprise?
A social enterprise is an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximise improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being — this may include maximising social impact alongside profits for external shareholders.
Social enterprises can be structured as for-profit or non-profit. They may take the form (depending on which country the entity exists and the legal documents available) of a cooperative, mutual organisation, a disregarded entity, a social business, a benefit corporation, a community interest company, or a company limited by guarantee or a charity organisation.
They can also take more conventional structures. Social enterprises have both business goals and social goals. As a result, their social goals are embedded in their objective, differentiating them from other organisations and corporations. A social enterprise’s primary purpose is to promote, encourage, and make social change.
Social enterprises are businesses created to further a social purpose in a financially sustainable way. Social enterprises can provide income generation opportunities that meet the basic needs of people who live in poverty. They are sustainable and earn income from sales is reinvested in their mission. They do not depend on philanthropy and can sustain themselves over the long term. Their models can be expanded or replicated to other communities to generate more impact.
A social enterprise can be more sustainable than a non-profit organisation that solely relies on grant money, donations or federal programs alone. As a for-profit model, you control the curriculum and funding of the program. The company’s incentives are designed such that a more significant impact directly correlates to a great profit. Today, investors and business partners want to know that the companies they choose are doing more than just providing a product or service. They look for companies that are doing good. They will feel a special connection to companies whose values align with their own.