The people Magazine office is an office of ice cream lovers. We’re the kind of people who eat ice cream all year round, whether we’re sweltering or shivering. So when we found out that just by eating ice cream we’re helping Ola create job opportunities in South Africa, we were pretty pleased with ourselves. (And celebrated with an ice cream, of course!)
We answered five questions about the ‘I Am Ola’ global ice cream vendor programme, so you can feel just as good as we do about eating Ola ice creams.
Okay, but how exactly has eating ice cream helped South Africa?
The ‘I Am Ola’ global ice cream vendor programme provides training, equipment, products and licensing to thousands of unemployed people, introducing them to the world of entrepreneurship and giving them a chance to develop the skills necessary to run a small business. So far, the programme has created 2200 new job opportunities in South Africa and 45 000 opportunities globally!
What does the programme do for participants?
The programme works by either directly employing people – including long-term unemployed people and the youth – or by supporting them to start their own ice cream businesses. This means Ola can create new sales channels, while having a positive social impact on people and communities.
Through ‘I Am Ola’, micro-entrepreneurs and small business have access to training, paid work experience, mentoring and support to find long-term employment. The experience is designed to build the skills of these micro-entrepreneurs in areas like sales and shopper management, customer service, problem-solving and self-confidence.
Is ‘I Am Ola’ making a real difference in people’s lives?
Absolutely! Watch the video below and see how Gwendoline Nthabiseng Khutlapye is supporting her community after signing up for the ‘I Am Ola’ programme. Her inspiring story is just one of thousands throughout South Africa.
What’s next for the programme?
‘I Am Ola’ isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Unilever has big plans for the programme and wants to create 100 000 global job opportunities in more than 25 countries by 2020. And with our help, they’ll be able to do it.
I’m sold! How can I support the ‘I Am Ola’ programme?
It’s easy (and delicious)! Every time you buy an Ola ice cream, you are contributing to the initiative. It really is that simple. If you keep enjoying your favourite frozen treats (whether your heart belongs to Magnum, Cornetto or Paddle Pop), Ola can keep building a happier, more inclusive world.