May 30, 2023 marks Volunteer Day for Deloitte offices across Africa. Deloitte East Africa has set aside an entire day as part of our commitment in living our purpose of transforming 1.65 million lives in the region by 2030.
Volunteer Day focuses on encouraging all our people to use their professional skills and experience, directly benefiting entrepreneurs, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), students, and other community groups, to create a measurable difference. This initiative directly impacts thousands of people across the region through career mentorship; financial literacy; support to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); and NGO capacity development sessions.
Each of the regional offices sets out to help transform lives in each of their communities, with a focus on professional and personal development.
In the Kenya office, Deloitte staff aimed their efforts trifold, focusing on students, MSMEs, and NGOs. The Tanzania and Uganda offices focused their efforts on supporting local MSMEs.
This is not a road Deloitte walks alone. For effective results, we collaborate with associations and entities across the three countries to reach our community stakeholders. Within Kenya, we are collaborating with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Antler, and the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF).
In Tanzania, our teams works with Founders Tanzania, Sahara Ventures and Tanzania Startup Association. And in Uganda we continued with our ongoing engagements with Outbox and the Uganda Association of Manufacturers.
As part of student outreach, our staff shared insights on various career paths with high school and university students, while highlighting tools for personal and professional leadership development, as they prepare to transition to tertiary education and the world of work. This outreach also included financial literacy workshops promoting healthy financial mind-sets and providing students with practical tools to enable them make responsible financial decisions.
In our outreach to MSMEs, our staff equip entrepreneurs with knowledge and tools on financial management; environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration; and marketing strategies to accelerate business growth.
Part of our Volunteer Day efforts include a business clinic to support start-ups on various aspects of tax, regulatory compliance, and data analytics. For community-based organisations, we provide tailored support for growth and to address strategic and financial management for increased impact.
Deloitte East Africa Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Leader Gladys Makumi, says: “East Africa is full of promise, with its large and growing population of talented youth. While unemployment is still a major challenge for the millions of young people entering the workforce annually, posing prevalent and grave consequences to living conditions, our youth have continued to demonstrate great resilience through innovation and entrepreneurship, especially where training, mentorship and financial services have been made accessible to them.”
She continues: “Our focus for Volunteer Day is on equipping our young people with knowledge and skills through financial literacy, career readiness, and MSME support initiatives, which is critical in preparing them to expand the opportunities available to them and promoting inclusive economic growth across the region. We have a responsibility to invest our skills and resources in strengthening the future workforce to ensure the sustainability of our economies. Therefore, let us all play our part.”
Deloitte staff commitment to local communities also extends past Volunteer Day. It is a year-round effort across various initiatives. We understand that we must protect and restore natural habitats and ecosystems and ensure that our atmospheric and water systems are clean and protected to contribute to a sustainable future. One of the ways we participate in shaping the world we live in and the environment we leave for future generations, is through the commemoration of Earth Day on April 22, when our people across East Africa demonstrate support for environmental protection every year.
In Tanzania, our Deloitte team continued its collaboration with Ukonga Prison, Tanzania Forest Service, and Mbagala Secondary School to cumulatively plant 9,300 trees since 2022, and continue its maintenance of saplings planted in previous years.
In 2022, Deloitte Kenya, in collaboration with Friends of Karura Forest, set out to regenerate a section of Karura Forest by planting 4,500 indigenous trees to restore the forest to an indigenous ecosystem. To date, we have planted 2,500 trees. This year, our team in Uganda planted 1,000 trees in collaboration with Entebbe Comprehensive Secondary School and Entebbe Parents Primary School.
Beyond Earth Day, we continue to demonstrate our commitment by embedding sustainability in our firm and empowering our people by providing the education, tools, and resources needed to enable them play their part by making responsible lifestyle choices and engaging our ecosystems to create an environment where solutions can be created and implemented to spur positive change.
According to the African Development Bank, 10-12 million African youths enter the workforce every year, with only three million employment opportunities available. Various stakeholders continue supporting entrepreneurship as a means to economic empowerment and creating more employment opportunities to mitigate the unemployment crisis. MSMEs play a significant role in East Africa’s economy, contributing approximately 40 percent of GDP and providing opportunities for more than 90 percent of the labour force.
Limited access to financing, business education, the right networks, and soft skills, challenge the investor readiness of many East African MSMEs and start-ups. Deloitte East Africa had these entrepreneurs in mind when launching Jenga na Deloitte in December 2022. The initiative is designed to empower MSMEs through high-quality mentorship and technical support engagements.
Jenga na Deloitte, which is Kiswahili for “build with Deloitte,” is premised on our commitment to make an impact that matters by leveraging our internal resources and strategic collaborations to provide solutions to our society. We support entrepreneurs in strategic planning; investor readiness; marketing and access to market; understanding and compliance with the regulatory environment; operations and financial management planning; among others, through multiple touchpoints.
Currently, we provide mentorship and technical support to entrepreneurs in collaboration with MESH and Antler East Africa.
MESH, a social venture by Shujaaz Inc, is an online platform bringing together more than 140,000 entrepreneurs in the informal economy. Our collaboration with MESH seeks to provide mentorship and training support to MESH entrepreneurs in formalisation and regulatory compliance, sales, marketing, and branding.
Deloitte Kenya has also collaborated with Antler to provide tax masterclasses and pro-bono office hours in tax matters, and has catered for start-ups participating in Antler’s start-up fellowship programme. Our people are excited to use their skills and expertise to make an impact that truly matters by supporting MSMEs to grow through existing and future collaborations.
About Deloitte East Africa
Deloitte East Africa has been dedicated, since 1907, to providing seamless cross-border services to multinationals, large national enterprises, MSMEs, and the public sector; with offices in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, and in the process of expanding our operations by re-opening an office in Ethiopia.
Currently, we have over 900 staff across East Africa. We are committed to our purpose, our shared values, and leading a truly diverse, respectful, and inclusive culture, and embody our commitment to diversity with gender diversity reaching 50 percent in leadership positions across East Africa. Our commitment remains focused on a holistic approach, ensuring our people are first by creating a diverse and inclusive environment.
Deloitte provides audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has more than 411,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence of professional services firms.