Growing Despite the Coronavirus Pandemic In South Africa

Global Alumni Coordinator

Despite the rising COVID-19 pandemic in the region, our Global Fellow Dieudonne Allo and his team at Global Leading Light Initiative (GLLI) in South Africa have been successfully providing business mentorship for unemployed women, youth, and people with disabilities to help generate income through the crisis. GLLI provides IT devices repair, network installations courses, and mentorship to help participants launch their own businesses.

This year, GLLI saw 6 participants pass the Cisco IT Essentials exam, the creation of 3 new IT businesses that they continue to mentor and another participant is now employed in the tech sector.


One participant from GLLI's course is now running a digital marketing and branding business. After completing the training at GLLI incubation hub, all six participants passed the CISCO IT Essentials Exam. Dieudonne is inspired by the impact their efforts have had so far, together with his colleagues, they are making plans to scale up their initiative to reach marginalized communities in rural areas.

Watch this video update from GLLI:

With this plan, GLLI will be providing digital marketing skills to help small businesses thrive in the face of COVID-19 complexities. Dieudonne is hopeful about the prospect of starting to offer these courses through boot camps in the near future. They have signed a partnership agreement with Small Enterprise Development (Seda), a government development agency in South Africa–to support the digital transformation of SMEs in townships and rural areas in the Eastern Cape who suffered consequences of the COVID-19 lockdowns. GLLI is currently looking for financial partners to collaborate in launching the initiative.

Learn more about the work of GLLI at

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