Africa Makes Foundation
What Does Your Company Do?
The Africa Makes Foundation (part of the Africa Makes 3D Printing for Development Initiative and supported by South Africa Makes) is a non-profit organisation developing the sustainable #3D4D ecosystem that empowers Africans and transforms the continent through the technology of 3D printing and additive manufacturing. We use a market-based approach to solve diverse development challenges in South Africa. Our aim is to prepare African youth for success in the future of work with relevant fourth industrial revolution and entrepreneurship skills. Our goals are to spur economic growth, employment, education and women’s empowerment among under-resourced communities, through training, access to resources, as well as enabling entrepreneurs to integrate themselves into wider supply and value chains – all with regard to manufacturing-on-demand services, using 3D printing and additive manufacturing.
What is your Biggest Success?
Being the female pioneer of #3D4D in Africa, I was nominated by the United States Department of State for the International Visitors Leadership Program for Women in Entrepreneurship and had the opportunity to travel to the United States and met with numerous public and private organisations who have well established programs to support 3D printing and entrepreneurship skills in their communities. They will be working with us at the Africa Makes Foundation and we are excited to explore this further.
What has been your Biggest Hurdle?
The biggest hurdle has been sourcing the financial support required to widely implement our #3D4D workshops. This is mainly due to a lack of understanding of the technology by stakeholders, and this is something that we are addressing with strategic marketing and #3D4D awareness campaigns. We hope that by entering entrepreneurship competitions this will provide us with increased exposure, improved access to additional community partners with whom we can grow the #3D4D ecosystem, and ultimately the opportunity to serve our beneficiaries.
We wish to capacity-build, create strategic partnerships, and increase the number of end-users who
would benefit from the impact of our programme. With greater funding, we will be able to train more trainers to deliver the workshops. This will also enable us to increase the number of workshops we run, whilst expanding the geographical locations of the workshops. This will significantly increase the impact of our program, reaching a greater number of young people from under-resourced and under-represented communities across the country.
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