Luvuyo Rani

Silulo Ulutho Technologies
South Africa

Silulo operates IT stores and training centres in townships and rural areas of South Africa providing job opportunities for unemployed youth. 
Focus: Employment, Skills & Human Capital, Economic Growth and Social Inclusion
Geographic Area of Impact: South Africa
Model: Social Innovation Business
Number of DirecBeneficiaries: 3,000 (2014)
Annual Budget: $1.8 million (2014)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 100% (2014)
The Social Problem
In South Africa, the unemployment rate amongst young people below the age of 29 is 50% in townships compared to 25% outside townships. Among young women the unemployment rate is even higher with an estimate of more than 60%. Overall, it is difficult for them to access the labour market due to the lack of training opportunities and technical skills. Unfortunately, most training opportunities are only provided outside townships. This creates problems particularly for young women who are often unable to make the journey into the cities for financial and security reasons. 
Innovation and Activities
Silulo has established itself inside townships and poor communities in South Africa providing educational and entrepreneurship opportunities through a franchising model. Silulo started in 2004 by selling refurbished computers and soon expanded to IT training and servicing. The branches also offer services such as CV writing and employment advice aligned with Silulo’s “one stop shop” philosophy. Silulo has 33 operational branches in and around the townships of the Eastern and Western Cape employing 132 staff. Of those 33 branches, seven are franchised and are run by former graduates of Silulo’s IT training program.
Silulo has become a well-recognised brand inside and outside the townships. In the last eight years, 25,000 students completed the 6-month IT training with an accredited certificate. 80% of the students were women. The courses are offered on a fee basis but are reasonably priced, and even the most deprived are able to attend due to special grants offered by the South African government. More than 50% of Silulo’s students have found regular employment. Silulo has successfully partnered with companies like Tsiba, Microsoft, and Vodacom in order to refer job seekers. Silulo is the only service provider of its kind in the townships and is deeply embedded in the communities it serves and operates in. It has helped to lift thousands of families out of poverty and provides business opportunities through its franchise model.
The Entrepreneur
Born in a township in the Eastern Cape, Luvuyo came to Cape Town in 1996 to get a tertiary education and pursue a career in teaching. After graduating from Cape Technikon with a National Diploma in Commercial Education, Luvuyo started teaching accounting and entrepreneurship at a high school in the Khayelitsha township. After three years he started Silulo Ulutho Technologies. Since 2007, Luvuyo has received a number Awards such as JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World and he was named at Endeavour Global Entrepreneur in 2010.