Social Impact

Junior Achievement

Maximizing social impact of youth-serving NGO in sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa continues to report the highest rate of youth working-poverty globally, with about 126 million youth currently unemployed or underemployed and a population that is expected to double by 2050. About 60 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa and about 37 percent of its workforce are youth under age 25. By 2025, two-thirds of Africa’s population will be under 25 years of age, and Africa will be home to 25 percent of the world’s youth population. Every year between 7 million and 10 million young people in the region enter into a weak labor market, where high unemployment, low productivity, and poverty-level income are commonplace.

As one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs, Junior Achievement Worldwide activates youth for the future of jobs. Through the delivery of hands-on, blended learning in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, JA empowers young people to grow their entrepreneurial ideas, hone their work skills, manage their earnings, and secure better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Junior Achievement has a presence in 14 countries and delivered programs to 230,000 students in 2016.

Young workers in Sub-Saharan Africa have one of the highest probabilities of living in poverty compared to other regions in the world. This project provided me with the thrilling opportunity to generate tangible impact for generations of young people through the amazing job that Junior Achievement is doing in Sub-Saharan Africa. Throughout my six years in consulting, this was undoubtedly the project that gave me the most direct visibility on the impact generated by our team for a client and for the people benefiting from its programs
Francesco Ciccione, Engagement Manager, Oliver Wyman


Oliver Wyman developed the five year strategy of Junior Achievement Africa (JAA). During a six-week project the team started by analyzing the key data and related trends on youth unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa, sizing the current and future potential audience for JAA’s services. Moreover, the team conducted in parallel an assessment of both the efficiency of JAA’s internal operation and of the external key trends in terms of demand, disruptive factors (such as mobile technologies), potential partners and competition. Finally, the team designed the five-year strategy and implementation plan around the following key cornerstones: defining JAA’s ambition, pursuing selected strategic initiatives, fixing the internal gaps, and growing funding.

This has been a highly strategic project with strong potential impact across 14 countries on a core theme for Africa
Greg Rung, Partner, Oliver Wyman


Oliver Wyman’s recommendations were discussed internally by the board of directors of JAA, as well as with the CEO of Junior Achievement Worldwide. Moreover, the team was invited to present at JAA’s most important event, the Company of the Year Competition, which was held in December 2017 in Johannesburg. This project has already created positive momentum within JAA, which started internal discussions to set a clear and measurable ambition for the next five years. This is expected to drive JAA’s growth strategy over the next five years, with new initiatives being designed around a social impact maximization framework that was proposed by the Oliver Wyman team. If properly implemented, Oliver Wyman’s recommendations will ultimately help JAA in maximizing its social impact by developing innovative programs, conducting more efficient operations and relying on larger and more stable funding.

JA Africa's engagement with Oliver Wyman was an invaluable consultation, which is informing the organization's strategy and growth over the next three to five years. Over multiple weeks this year, Oliver Wyman staff conducted a thorough and comprehensive review of JA Africa's portfolio, assessing the organization's strengths and weaknesses from the perspectives of its internal and external stakeholders, such as member-nation leadership, board members, donors, and others and gave the organization's leadership a robust insight into the entire portfolio. The result of this work was a summary of recommendations that is enabling the creation of a strategy that spans all Africa member nations and the regional office of JA Africa.

The document Oliver Wyman produced included the case for JA Africa, an internal assessment of JA Africa, a Member Nationsgap analysis, an external assessment of the Sub-Saharan context, the development of strategic initiatives, and a recommended implementation road map, which the Africa Board and Member nations have used as the foundation to inform future strategy. In addition to the consultancy JA Africa also benefited from Oliver Wyman partner, Greg Rung, joining the Africa board. He brings with him extensive experience in strategy development and in entrepreneurship education and a wealth of resources, which will contribute tremendously to the organization's mission.

JA Africa appreciates Oliver Wyman's investment in the mission. As an organization that relies largely on the generosity and investment of its donors, this engagement with Oliver Wyman was a critical consultancy that we cannot put a value on, in that it measures and redefines for us the nature of the challenge that we face within our mission context and equips us with the sense of direction and the strategic discipline that it will take to address it
Elizabeth Bintliff, CEO, Junior Achievement Africa