R.E.A.C.H. Through Skills Training

R.E.A.C.H. Through Skills Training

Organization type: 
for profit
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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An Entrepreneurial Paradigm Shift Through Education
One of the major problems of Jamaica and the Caribbean is a phobia of communicating through writing. As a result of this, students find the educational experience to be un-stimulating, difficult and goals hard to accomplish or un-attainable. This phobia of writing affects general academic outcomes and translates into the larger society where both written and verbal communication becomes problematic. There is also the fact that, even though there are some well-established names in literature form Jamaica and the Caribbean, this is still minuscule in comparison with the population of Jamaica and the Caribbean.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Economic Conditions, Political Structures, Norms and Values Jamaica’s economic situation is worrying. Because of the steady decline of national growth and unemployment ration over the last 5 years Jamaica has had to seek assistance from the IMF. Currently the unemployment rate stands at 12.90%, which is 3.64% increase over the last year and a 13.16% increase over the last five years. As a result of this poverty has increased and many youths turn to illegal means to support themselves. The current political structure is democratic and operates under a West Minister system. The current party in power is the Jamaica labour government which came into power in late 2007. The majority of the older persons are highly nationalistic even though most persons tend to believe that economic prosperity will only come if they migrate to work overseas and then return later, which is what many persons have done. The younger population who are not currently employed is not as nationalistic and tend to have a get rich quick mindset. Those who may have gone unto higher education though do tend to have a high work ethic. History Jamaica received its independence from Briton in 1962 and has had two major ruling parties since then who has had successive turns at governance. During the 1980s it experienced an age of civil unrest because of the political and economic conditions. In 1999 there was a riot as a result of increasing gas prizes. In May 2010, there was a localized civil on rest in the inner city community of Tivolli in West Kingston. The Country has been relatively stable since then and over time in general. Demographic Trends Population 2,868,380 (2011 est.), 2,804,334 (July 2008 est.) Age structure 0–14 years: 12.5 % (male 464,297/female 449,181) 15–64 years: 59.6% (male 808,718/female 835,394) 65 years and over: 7.3% (male 90,100/female 110,434) (2006 est.) Population growth rate 0.7% (2006 est.) Birth rate 20.82 births/1,000 population (2006 est.) There were a total of 45,600 births in 2007. (46,300 in 2006 and 47,000 in 2005 resulting in a birth rate of 17.0 per 1000 in 2007. Death rate 6.55 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)[Note: Birth-Death+Net mig=Pop increase --> 20.82-X-6.27=8 --> X=6.55] Net migration rate -6.27 migrant(s)/1,000 populations (2006 est.) Sex ratio practical: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.) Infant mortality rate total population: 15.98 deaths/1,000 live births male: 16.66 deaths/1,000 live births female: 15.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.) Life expectancy at birth total population: 73.24 years male: 71.54 years female: 75.03 years (2006 est.) Total fertility rate • 2.26 children born/woman (2010 est.) • 2.41 children born/woman (2006 est.) Ethnic groups This topic is somewhat contentious with several respected sources giving different figures. In alphabetic order these are: • black 91.2%, mixed 6.2%, other or unknown 2.6% (2001 census). • University of the West Indies: 76.3% African descent, 15.1% Afro-European, 3.4% East Indian and Afro-East Indian, 3.2% Caucasian, 1.2% Chinese and 0.8% Other. Religions Protestant 62.5% (including Church of God 23.7%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, Pentecostal 9.5%, Baptist 7.2%, Anglican 3.6%) Roman Catholic 2.6%, Other or unspecified 14.2% None 20.9% Languages English (official), Jamaican Patois Literacy definition: age 15 and over who has ever attended school total population: 87.9% male: 84.1% female: 91.6% (2003 est.) Experience with Engagement Efforts There have been several attempts to engage the youth population in economic activities which have been successful in terms increasing job opportunities. These engagement efforts have reaped some rewards in terms of the educational and job possibilities that young persons are able to attend to. One set back however is that when the engagement involves funds to set up business ventures, since those funds usually requires securities and guarantors, the effort is usually unsuccessful because most persons are not able to put forward such securities or engage guarantors. • ]

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

An Entrepreneurial Paradigm Shift Through Education One of the major problems of Jamaica and the Caribbean is a phobia of communicating through writing. As a result of this, students find the educational experience to be un-stimulating, difficult and goals hard to accomplish or un-attainable. This phobia of writing affects general academic outcomes and translates into the larger society where both written and verbal communication becomes problematic. There is also the fact that, even though there are some well-established names in literature form Jamaica and the Caribbean, this is still minuscule in comparison with the population of Jamaica and the Caribbean. Many persons both student and the general populace alike do not see writing as a viable economic alternative that can impact a wider population. There are however viable economic opportunities in the field of writing that several persons can make use of if they are taught how to do this. This project/innovation aims to do just that. There is also the problem low unemployment rates among the general populace and the worrying situation of rising unemployment for high, college and university graduates. Such persons are unable to find suitable if any employment and this affect moral, create deprivation and a burden to families and society as well as crime such as scamming and drug pushing among the youths. • ]
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

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What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

[ I graduated from the Jamaica Theological Seminary in Kingston in 2006. I then went to the United States to work for eight (8) months. I was convinced however that I should come back to my country and try and make a difference there. I have always had a sense of feeling responsible to create changes in my community and country and large. Convinced I was that my place was in Jamaica, I returned home with high hopes and expectations. Before I went to seminary in 2002, I had worked before (from 1995 – 2001) and I had never had a problem with getting jobs before, therefore when I decide to come home, I never thought that I would have problems with getting a job. To my surprise however it was extremely difficult and hard to get a job. Week after week I bought the career paper and sent in resumes after resumes. Over a period of three years I sent in more than 3000 resumes and cover letters (not exaggerating). I also got engaged in several business opportunities but could not get off the ground because of a lack of funds. I was highly frustrated and discovered, but I also learned that I was not alone. There were several other persons, both young and old alike who were searching for jobs and couldn’t get any.
D During this time I became very discouraged and had to dig deep within to encourage myself. I then decide to create this project

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured


How many people have been impacted by your project?

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

How will your project evolve over the next three years?
What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The Barriers to success are mainly working capital finance, marketing to target audience and network reach. With the execution of working capital start up the following measures will be employed:
1. This is a social business innovation/project idea that will have appeal because of its social enterprise nature.
2. To initiate this project it will first be reviewed by high-end stake holder in the ministry of education.
3. Based on their support/endorsement of the project the project will kick start by the end of August 2011, that is, the video-taping and marketing engagements.
4. To start the initial stage of the project, that is the video-taping and marketing, a grant will be sought from relevant funding agencies that currently fund such economic projects in the island.
5. The endorsement from the relevant stakeholders in the Ministry of Education will give credibility to the project in the eyes of the funding agency.
6. Teachers will be invited to cross train in this project implementation to facilitate the video-taping process.
7. The project will then be marketed to schools and teachers through the Ministry of Education, Jamaica Teachers Association and Peer Networking.
8. A Demand for the product will be created such that
• An initial engaging sample of the product will be made available to teachers through an online engagement.
• 5 Teachers who purchase the product will have an opportunity to win a 3 week writing vacation where they will create their own curriculum review strategy using the PBL approach.
• They will then submit this to the organization and based on the viability of what they have written; material will be taken for publication from which they will receive a bonus.
• Teachers who did not win the three week writing vacation can still submit review strategies for PBL projects. Strategies that are viable will be published and teachers whose strategies are accepted will win a 3 month free subscription to an online community of PBL strategies.
• Teachers who purchase books will also receive a month free subscription to the online community for PBL Strategists. Here they will be in a community where they will learn several strategies for their classroom.
• The online community will be engaging because it will be a network of PBL thinkers where new ideas are often added.
• Through this online community with the purchase of the video teachers will receive the opportunity to participate in the community in various interactive ways.
• A demand for the business model of the product which will be marketed to the public will be created through the sale of a business model book where persons will receive a 1 month subscription to this greater online community of strategic business ideas that are updated regularly. The title of this book is “Turning Creativity into Employment.” The book is currently finished but additions may be made to it.”
• Through the sale of this book, the PBL strategy will be advertised to University/College graduates who will then realize an opportunity for investment through buying the video and getting a chance to be part of an online community.
7. This sustainability of this project is viable because the individual teacher may purchase for her class. There are currently over 20,000 teachers in the Island of Jamaica, discounting college and university lecturers, and student graduates who may purchase this project for their own special purpose. If this project in the initial stage should sell for $2000.00 Jamaican Dollars and each teacher should purchase for her class that is forty million ($40,000,000.00) dollars. (For the initial engaging project a (6) six month – two (2) year time line could be set.)
8. An online community of PBL strategist that is created could spear head a website with on-going PBL strategies that teachers could integrate into their core curriculum areas. Teachers could subscribe to such a website and if a possible 20,000.00 teachers subscribe at $1000.00 per month that is $20,000,000.00 Jamaican dollars in revenue for the online community. (A 5 year time line for this could be set.)
9. There are also the by-products of this business venture such DVDs/CD-ROMs/books/magazines that could come out of this business. (A two to five (2-5) year time line for this could be set.)
10. The value added products from this project is enormous when one considers there are at least six (6) curriculum areas for each grade in primary schools and there are six grades at the primary level. At the high school level there are 13 – 16 curriculum areas. The scope for expansion and replicability is therefore enormous.]

Tell us about your partnerships

• The partners will we seek to engage are government and private primary (elementary) and secondary high schools, local, regional and international universities and colleges, university and college graduates locally and regionally as well as technology corporations such as the Digicel Foundations as well as small and medium size micro financial institutions.

Explain your selections

• Although the project has been sent to a educational leaders for review, the idea has been endorsed by family and friends in terms of the long term sustainability, viability and reach of the project. Everyone so far believes it is a great innovative idea
• ]:

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

The following strategies may be employed to support the project.
1. PBL Strategists could also create many business ideas about using skills and creative talent that the ordinary youth can utilize. Subscriptions from the youth population will also generate revenues. If over a period of time at least 500,000.00 Jamaican youths subscribe to such a website for a cost of $500.00/month, that will be two hundred and fifty million ($250,000,000.00) Jamaican dollars per month or two million five hundred thousand ($2,500,00.00 US) dollars per month. (A two (2) year time line to achieve this target could be set based on advertising potential.) An approximate growth plan of 12 years is therefore set as the target for the local market.
2. The Caribbean market is being looked at in terms of reach and replication possibilities. As an initial engaging project after the start-up of the local project, the video presentation of the possibilities of the PBL strategies will be presented to the Caribbean community. A five (5) year target plan is set for this project.
3. This project will be spear headed through network of the local Ministry of Education. Replication will not be a problem as some Caribbean countries uses the same integrated curriculum in the high schools as in Jamaica.
4. An initial engaging customer base of 30,000.00 teachers in the Caribbean community is expected.
5. Should this initial project be marketed to them for the same $2000.

Which barriers to employment does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.


Lack of skills/training


Lack of visibility and investment


Other (Specify Below)

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.
Are you trying to scale your organization or initiative?
If yes, please check up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.



Grown geographic reach: Multi-country


Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.
Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?