Ola takes ice cream to the streets of South Africa!
Improving thousands of lives through job creation, economic empowerment and capability building!
In an effort to tackle the increasing rate of unemployment in South Africa, the Ola team picked up the old-school way of delivering ice cream to consumers by launching a micro-entrepreneur initiative in 2013.
This programme aims to reignite South Africans capabilities to support themselves and their families through vending. The process involved going back to the basics and investing in vending equipment in order to help create a brighter future for South Africans, enabling them to improve their lives and develop their own livelihoods.
Working with government, concessionaires and vending agents in building a sustainable economic model, the programme has introduced a welcome relief in the form of alternative employment.
The initiative forms part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which has set a bold target to enhance the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020 and is fully supported at the highest levels within the business.
Through the vendors programme, Ola has helped to create 2200 jobs nationally to date. In doing so, Ola is contributing to the achievement of one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – Global Goal Number 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, which is set out to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Besides recruiting vendors and supplying equipment and training, Ola creates evolving opportunities as the initiative grows. The company secures event-vending rights where top performing vendors are invited to sell — like concerts and soccer matches. The brand works with municipalities, and sometimes vendors provide secondary services, such as directing holidaymakers.
In addition, Ola recently introduced an innovative community focused initiative that saw 30 of its street vendors in Cape Town and Durban trained in first aid through an intensive course called Vendor First Responder.
A first to the South African market, the initiative was developed as a proactive way to implement ice cream sales units in high traffic beach and coastal locations, territories where vendor-trading licenses are typically difficult to secure. At the same time, the community is benefitting from having First Responders on hand to identify potential situations, provide first aid and assist in emergencies as a result of their training.
First Responders are already making an impact, from saving drowning swimmers, assisting local authorities with crowd control during emergency situations and providing basic first aid to children in the area.