“BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR IS NOT A MATTER OF DISABILITY; IT IS A MATTER OF OPPORTUNITY AND SKILL”
- ENTREPRENEUR WITH PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENT, SODO, ETHIOPIA
Young people with disabilities face extraordinary barriers to accessing fulfilling work that can support economic independence. Systemic change is needed to reduce these barriers and to show that young people with disabilities are and can be innovative economic role models and have the power, as individuals and as a collective, to transform societies for the better.
Crosswise Works is excited to partner with Light for the World, African Disability Forum and the Mastercard Foundation on the We Can Work program to provide youth with disabilities the opportunity to engage in dignified and fulfilling work, ensuring they are respected as economic actors and driving change toward a more inclusive society.
We Can Work is a multi-year program (2023 - 2030) and is a key component of the Mastercard Foundation’s wider disability inclusion strategy for Africa. We Can Work is implemented in; Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.
The We Can Work program is grounded on three interconnected pathways:
1. Supporting young women and men with disabilities to become role model economic actors, and bring about system change towards a more inclusive society and economic ecosystem.
2. Promoting disability inclusion as part of Young Africa Works strategies, portfolios and interventions, as well as among partner organisations and other key system actors.
3. Ensuring meaningful participation of young women and men with disabilities in advocating for an inclusive policy environment.
“WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF TRANSFORMATIVE INCLUSIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP"
Crosswise Works and the We Can Work program champion a human-design approach and are passionate about co-creation and youth-lead impact; Crosswise Works is partnering with seven country-based Entrepreneurship Advisors, organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), country-based teams of Disability Inclusion Advisors and Facilitators, and role models of entrepreneurs with disabilities. This collaborative approach ensures that the voices, experiences and expertise of young persons with disabilities are at the centre of program design and implementation.
Crosswise works as a technical partner and focuses on pathway 1, to facilitate dignified work opportunities through delivering quality and targeted skills building, entrepreneurship and self-employment training, and supporting interventions for youth with disabilities to successfully transition to work. The learning design and curriculum have been specifically designed to be disability inclusive and are adapted and contextualised per country.
- Sourcing, assessing and selecting the implementing partners for the We Can Work Academy
- Designing and developing an inclusive curriculum for entrepreneurship, business development & incubation
- Overseeing and advising on the We Can Work Academy implementation to ensure quality and impact.
- Operationalising the We Can Work access to finance strategy and piloting innovative, accessible financial instruments in each country
- Managing the Entrepreneurship Advisor Collective to ensure cross-country learning and disability inclusion mainstreaming activities within the entrepreneurship sector