Pictured from left to right: Kaelee Geertgens – Marketing Director, FreeAxez; Tama Williams – Project Management Director; FreeAxez, Daniela Gusman – Founder & Executive Director, rise; Audrey Matlock – Audrey Matlock Architect; Brynnemarie Lanciotti – Ronnette Riley Architecture; Heidi Blau – FX Collaborative
FreeAxez believes in supporting groups that empower the underprivileged to support their development as entrepreneurs and business people.
Early last month, FreeAxez hosted an event at their New York Showroom honoring rise International. The charity partners with vulnerable communities to develop projects of social impact in order to foster social enterprise and help those communities become more sustainable and independent. Operating in the country of Lesotho in Southern Africa, this registered non-profit has been touring the U.S. in celebration of the 5th anniversary of its founding and 2016 pilot program to raise awareness of its mission.
More than simply a charity that provides aid for the physical needs of recipients, rise believes effectively fostering businesses in the developing world helps solve a widespread social issue. The group believes that networking with local entrepreneurs in a worldwide professional community and providing essential training and development can have a catalytic effect on business development and reduce a community’s dependency on foreign aid.
rise links aspiring entrepreneurs to essential resources they need to thrive as business owners, particularly for university graduates from the built environment. The resources provided include:
- Business & entrepreneurial training
- Design & technical coaching
- Soft skills development
- Professional networks
- Access to market and employment opportunities
Improving the quality and infrastructure in African cities has been a challenge. By developing the capacity of local construction entrepreneurs and partnering them with recent graduates from the built environment and local skilled laborers, rise is helping disadvantaged communities see much-needed projects completed.
Ultimately, the aim of this initiative is to ease poverty through economic development by training aspiring entrepreneurs in the built environment. Setting up businesses and thus generating employment for themselves and others is helping to build regional independence. The addition of trades and professional mentors further advances the development of these workers, saving years of trial and error.
rise in the city
Building Africa’s Future Through Enterprise
rise is excited to launch rise in the city, an initiative designed to help grow your business while helping hundreds of vulnerable youth grow their own businesses. The project is a virtual networking and mentoring hub. The organization is looking for 50 architects willing to remotely mentor young entrepreneurs over a period of six months. To help raise funds, they also need 50 suppliers to contribute $2000 each. In return, the suppliers will get to meet the principal architect and design team of the firm of their choice. This opportunity will allow suppliers to meet key decision makers, grow their networks and get a tax break while doing good for these entrepreneurs and their communities.
Learn more about rise in the city.