Founded: 1989 as a Baptist Training Centre, renamed Learn to Earn in 1995

Location: Western Cape, branches in Khayelitsha and Hermanus

Sector: Social Enterprise



Learn to Earn is a non-profit skills development and job creation social enterprise working with unemployed people from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Learn to Earn is based in South Africa's Western Cape, and has training centres in Khayelitsha a former township 30km from Cape Town, and in Zwelihle close to Hermanus. Through these centres Learn to Earn provides skills training in a variety of fields including sewing, woodwork, baking, business, home management, computing, basic education and wider life skills. Through its business resource centres, entrepreneurship and business support programmes, Learn to Earn also assists its graduates in starting their own businesses through helping them access opportunities and thus contributing to long term job creation. Learn to Earn was established in 1989 as a Baptist Training Centre. In 1995 it was renamed Learn to Earn under the directorship of Roché van Wyk. Since 1989 over 9000 unemployed people have received training through Learn to Earn programmes. Learn to Earn is funded through a combination of domestic and international donations and support, together with a variety of trading activities in which is engages. Learn to Earn generates around 40% of its own income through activities of its Business Resource Centre and the feel good project (tfg).

Mission Statement

"We seek to develop people, especially unemployed people, socially, economically, emotionally and spiritually"

Vision Statement

"We strive to eradicate unemployment and other legacies of injustice, in South Africa and Africa"

Training and Development

Learn to Earn offers skills and personal development training at its centres in Khayelitsha and Hermanus. Learn to Earn offers courses in a variety of subjects including sewing, woodwork, baking, business, computer training, graphic design, home management and lifeskills, which covers everything from CV writing and job preparation to conflict resolution and developing self-esteem. In the period between 2010 to 2011, 346 students were registered to undertake training at the Khayelitsha and Hermanus branches of Learn to Earn with 307 completing their courses. Of those graduates 221 are now economically active (72%), with a further 10 in tertiary education through the Learn to Earn Graphic Design bridging course. Where possible Learn to Earn training courses are accredited. Learn to Earn also facilitates opportunities for learners to undertake work placements and assists learners in finding employment upon completion of their course.

Business Resource Centre

The purpose of the BRC is to complete Learn to Earn's objective of developing people, especially unemployed people, by facilitating business opportunities, job creation and creating access to economic ponds.

The BRC's three key strategic priorities are:

1. Job Creation

To find employment for our graduates in the formal sector and to support our entrepreneurs in the informal sector. We also assist our graduates by allowing them to be part of our Zakhele programme (Build For Yourself).

2. Creating access to economic ponds

Many unemployed people that have been taught to fish struggle to find a pond where they are able to catch fish. We provide access to economic ponds both by generating sales and stimulating product designs based on market needs.

3. E³ (Enterprise Enabling Environment)

The aim is to facilitate an Enterprise Enabling Environment for emerging businesses through hands-on mentoring as well as access to shared services. This facility provides advice, templates and information on business-related issues such as bookkeeping, marketing, legal matters, training and human resource practice.

the feel good project (tfg)

The feel good project is a corporate social investment joint venture between The Foschini Group and Learn to Earn with the vision and mission of being financially sustainable while training and developing as many unemployed people as possible for the retail market. The feel good project is a Section 21 Not for Profit Company. In May 2009 the feel good store opened in Claremont CBD. The store stocks reconditioned customer returns, limited samples, rejects and overruns from various brands. Through the feel good store previously unemployed people are given the chance to gain training and experience relevant to the retail supply chain. Trainees gain experience and skills through working in the store. Retail students and the store manager have also undertaken training based on the Foschini Retail Toolkit. At a repair centre in Khayelitsha other trainees have also been taught how to repair and mend clothes and have learnt about clothes finishing processes such as ironing, tagging and packing up goods. Trainees have also completed a six week Sewing Industry Technical Training (SITT) course on invisible mending and other repair techniques. Learn to Earn woodwork trainees were furthermore involved in the construction and design of shop counters and furnishings.

The Learn to Earn Association

The Learn to Earn Association is the vehicle through which the LtE model has been replicated in other parts of South Africa and internationally. Rather than establishing and running Learn to Earn branches across South Africa or the continent, Learn to Earn assists other organisations with capacity building to develop their own skills development and job creation processes, in a similar way to that of a business franchise model. This approach stems from recognition that all communities are different with their own particular contexts and development challenges Therefore research, in the form of a community analysis, is critical in determining what market related training is needed. This research also develops valuable opportunities to establish partnerships with businesses and other relevant organisations.

The LtE model is a holistic approach developed on Christian principles which are an integral part of its implementation. The Association builds accountability and best practice; Associates need to report regularly and adhere to certain standards concerning governance, financial management, training and outcomes. The Association seeks to be a network through which shared learning and mutual benefit enable organisations to more effectively develop unemployed people and contribute to eradicating unemployment.

Current members include:


PO Box 18123




Head Office: Claremont, Tel: 021 671-2230 Fax: 021 671-0773

Hermanus Branch, Tel: 028 313-0564 Fax: 028 312-4265

Khayelitsha Branch Tel: 021 361-5972 Fax: 021 361-5957

UK-based representative Tel: +44 7958 749296

USA-based representative Tel: +1 (312) 642 7515

The feel good shop: Claremont, Tel. 021 671 7392

Business Resource Centre Tel: 021 361-5972 Fax: 021 361-5957