CONTRIBUTING TO AN AFRICAN-LED MODEL FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

LDI Africa is a nonprofit social enterprise that was founded by Gbenga Ogunjimi following his own international fellowship experience.  LDI Africa builds the capacity of African corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits to compete in the global marketplace through the service of skilled volunteers, especially young African professionals from outside of the continent. 

Despite making great strides in social and economic development, the African continent is challenged by a talent shortage.  This situation affects both the hundreds of millions of young people seeking employment and African organizations struggling to find people with the knowledge and skills that can help them grow. Through LDI Africa’s fellowship program African organizations benefit from best practices learned outside the continent and young professionals obtain international work experience that enhances their professional development.  LDI Africa also sends young African professionals overseas for fellowships with nonprofits and businesses seeking an international perspective on the challenges they face.

Gbenga Ogunjimi approached Shifting Patterns to help launch LDI Africa.  As a first step, Shifting Patterns’ Chief Change Architect worked closely with Gbenga to develop a social impact strategy that was used to guide the launch process.  The strategy development process consisted of a series of meetings where each section of the social impact strategy outline (Need and Opportunity, Social Impact Model, Implementation Strategy, and Action Plan) was reviewed and ideas were discussed with Gbenga taking responsibility for preparing the plan.  Development of the social impact strategy helped prepare Gbenga to launch LDI Africa, which included the ability to better articulate the organization’s value proposition to prospective donors.

Shifting Patterns also worked with LDI Africa to prepare a fundraising strategy to guide the social enterprise's resource development efforts.  After agreeing upon a funding target based on the organization’s annual operating budget, Kimberley used a strengths-based approach to identify LDI Africa’s fundraising assets and determine how they could be deployed to obtain funding.  Active participation in the strategic planning process resulted in an appreciation of the importance of thinking through different options to obtain funding and strategically deploying LDI Africa’s resources rather than haphazardly pursuing opportunities that happen to come along. 

While establishing its board of directors, LDI Africa turned again to Shifting Patterns for support.  Gbenga was supported in providing an overall direction to the board and managing member expectations around participation through a series of coaching sessions on board member roles and responsibilities, enlisting their support for fundraising activities, and facilitating board meetings.    

From this initial contact, LDI Africa has gotten off to a strong start with the establishment of offices in Washington, DC and Nigeria, hiring staff, obtaining an initial round of start-up capital, and launching its pilot fellowship program.

Learn how LDI Africa is making a positive difference at: http://www.ldiafrica.org

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