Keywords: Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, professional skills training, job matching, online platform

JAMBA – Career for All

JAMBA-Career for All supports persons with disabilities to attain key competencies, soft and professional skills. As a follow-up step, our team helps them begin their professional development and find a job. Our team is investing in capacity building by conducting a number of accessible soft-skills trainings that prepare candidates for challenges like writing their CVs and presenting themselves effectively during interviews. We organize Business English courses and professional trainings-IT and programming, data annotation, graphic design, etc. We also proactively seek connection with employers with an open and inclusive perspective and prepare them not just attitude-wise, but concretely and operatively, to have a person with disability joining their team. We work towards providing an accessible work environment, as well as helping for a successful start and subsequent dual integration. Our online job-matching platform ensures the link between persons with disabilities and the business world.

About the practice at a glance
Name of OrganisationJAMBA – Career For All
Type of organisationInternational NGO
Country
of Implementation
Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria
Year started2017
Funding modelJAMBA in Bulgaria managed to transform into a hybrid business model and established a successful social enterprise to complement the NGO within the first three years. This business model we aim to copy in all partner countries, keeping the local NGOs for donations, but simultaneously ensuring regular income from products and services. Our dominant revenue streams are recruitment commissions, membership subscriptions from our Job Board, business trainings, and consultancy services.

Revenue:150.000

IMPACT

Impact and growth 
  • Within less than 2 years and a half of the launch, we were able to create a beta version of our online accessible job board, to attract more than 2000+ candidates to our database, realize multidisciplinary trainings for more than 590 candidates, and assist in the recruitment of 300+ Bulgarians in 58 partnering organizations and companies and all of them are paid at the average wage or higher. 
  • 2020: Establishment of a new legal entity in Austria and start of training for Data Annotation skills, Business English, and Soft skills. 
  • 2019: 590 trained Bulgarians and out of them 300+ employed persons with disabilities.  Beta version of the matching job board platform; First international expansion – the official start of JAMBA in Hungary; 
  • 2018: 260 trained and out of them 148 successfully hired persons with disabilities. 
  • 2017: 45 trained and out of them 30 employed persons with disabilities. 
Target group 

Our team works with persons with all types and degrees of disabilities. We comply with their accessibility needs and work to ensure them. It is very important for us that the candidate also has the will and desire to develop, because only in this way do we achieve real results. From the beginning of 2020, we mainly provide opportunities for training and work in the IT/AI, ML/sector, which is flexible and offers remote work. This is how we reach people in small settlements, not only in big cities. 

Other outcomes 
  • Our team has been actively working in the last 2 years in partnership with other NGOs in Bulgaria and a new measure has been successfully implemented in the law, which provides protection for people with disabilities and at the same time offers flexibility for business in terms of employment. 
  • Thanks to this legal framework, businesses have started actively looking for candidates with disabilities to hire, and thus the unemployment rate among the group of people with disabilities is decreasing. 

THEORY OF CHANGE

We asked projects to outline their impact model (also called Theory of Change) – their main target groups, the key activities they offer these target groups, and what impact they want to achieve:

Target GroupActivityImpactIndicator
Consumers – Persons with DisabilitiesThe services we offer to them are conducting of fully accessible physical/present or again fully accessible online trainings on topics like: Soft skills – for example writing their CVs and presenting themselves effectively during interviews,successful integration into the work environment, work ethic and others; Business English courses, because for most employers excellent English is a compulsory skill at the moment. Professional training for IT and programming, data annotation, graphic design, social media marketing, accounting,etc. In this way, we invest in capacity building in candidates, prepare them, and sometimes even help them find internships in advance, in which to gain experience if they have never worked before, and thus they become competitive in the labor market. We then help them personally find work by connecting them with employers or they themselves use our inclusive job-board platform through which they can apply for a job.The change and impact we want to achieve among people with disabilities is to help increase their qualifications and skills so that they can get an equal chance for a professional start and career development. In this way, they will be economically and socially active and will be able to really integrate into society. That way, we will also motivate a large number of people with disabilities who have lost faith that they can realize themselves, look for new opportunities and feel complete.Number of conducted trainings and successfully trained students; Number of successfully employed people with disabilities for a minimum of 6months or more;
Clients – CompaniesThe services we offer to them are: Conducting theoretical and practical trainings, in which trainers with disabilities also participate. Trainings include topics on Diversity & Inclusion,accessible work environment, successful integration in the workplace and in the team and others; Consulting companies to provide an accessible work environment and inclusive design. Recruitment services in which JAMBA works as a labor intermediary/ HR company and assists in the whole recruitment process – from obtaining an application for a certain job, through scouting for talents,conducting accessible interviews, assistance in starting work and successful integration at the workplace. Opportunity for the company to register in JAMBA’s accessible online job-board platform, in which companies can contact suitable and eligible candidates.The change and impact we want to achieve in business is a change in attitudes among companies, breaking stereotypes and prejudices that people with disabilities cannot be successfully integrated into the labor market. Our goal is for the business to become more and more committed to the topic of Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace, to start actively looking for and hiring long-term candidates with disabilities and to pay them fairly for the work done with at least a minimum wage or higher and a full package of social benefits. In this way, the huge need and lack of sufficient staff and staff turnover can be filled, harnessing this huge amount of unused human capital with great potential.Number of companies with which the organization partners and works; Number of job postings received; Number of successfully filled job positions.

REPLICATION EXPERIENCE

We have already replicated our innovation 

In the beginning of 2019 Sári Pásztor contacted our team and expressed a desire to help the growth of Jamba in Hungary. Thus, in May 2019, for the first time we managed to expand the activities of JAMBA outside Bulgaria, and with the help of a local team and the main initiator of our activities there Sári, a new legal entity was created in Hungary. The organization receives government support and is currently participating in the Badur Foundation’s accelerator program. 

After one of the co-founders of the project, Iva Tsolova, moved to Austria, in April 2020 together with a local team in Vienna, a new legal entity was registered, and Jamba started its activities at the local level. In this short time, the organization managed to build a network of local partners, create an online infrastructure and platform for Austria, as well as to conduct its first training on Data Annotation, which was attended by 12 people with disabilities. 

Jamba’s team has already a Replication package, which contains a large set of documents, business plan, marketing strategy, brand book, and graphics, a fully accessible online platform translated in Bulgarian, English, German, Hungarian and that can be translated into a new language when it’s needed.  

Thanks to the good partnership network that Jamba Bulgaria has managed to build in the last few years, we enjoy the partnership with a large number of institutional /Sofia Municipality, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, President of the Republic of Bulgaria/, academic /Central European University, New Bulgarian University/, and 60 business partners /HP, EY, Coca-Cola, IBM, Raiffeisenbank, Experian, Telus International, TBI Bank, and many others/, as well as representatives of the NGO sector. Thanks to our partnerships with them, we had the opportunity to contact representatives of the companies with which we already work in Hungary and Austria. 

ORGANISATIONAL CAPACITY AND STRATEGY

Capacity 

The team is still rather small (mainly composed of volunteers), but young and entrepreneurial. 

The ITteam in Bulgaria, which deals with the development and maintenance of the website, the online matching job-board platform, as well as the current development of the online e-learning platform is available to assist with everything necessary in terms of replication of the organization’s software products. Also, one of the co-founders /Iva Tsolova/ is the project lead for the replication of JAMBA in an international aspect and manages all processes related to it. 

Iva Tsolova, the co-founder of JAMBA and its CEO, is an expert for small enterprises and businesses with multiannual experience. Her focus is on business development and the creation of long-term values of the organization.  She has been awarded for The Outstanding Young Persons in Bulgaria for 2016 in Humanitarian and Volunteerism Leadership, and also was one of the “30 under 30” of Forbes Europe in 2018 in the category “Social Entrepreneurship”. LinkedIn: bit.ly/36wRgZY 

The organization will seek sources of additional funding and co-financing to financially support its expansion abroad. 

Strategy 

Our aim for the next 5 years is to expand in at least 5 European countries. We are developing an additional innovative modules to our platform for inclusive online learning, which will allow us to reach people living in small settlements and rural areas, to support them to gain knowledge and skills to perform remote work. Our goal is to train online at least 30 000 people in the next 5 years. 

Our aim is to open the first Bulgarian physically accessible career centre for persons with disabilities. 

MOTIVATION

One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. 800.000 of them live in Bulgaria. They have tremendous potential and can be programmers, web designers, accountants, stock traders, dental technicians, call centre operators, and more. What they need is qualifications and knowledge, equal access to work development and an accessible work environment. 

Our team is investing in capacity building by conducting a number of accessible courses – soft-skills trainings that prepare candidates for challenges like writing their CVs and presenting themselves effectively during interviews, Business English courses and professional trainings.  

At the same time, our organization is young, and although we have a great desire to develop it internationally, because we believe a lot in its potential, we realize that we do not have the necessary expertise for this. We are aware that in such an activity there is a danger to the sustainability of our organization, it is also very important to choose the right model for social replication – if our criteria and values are not formed in the right way, there is a danger not to be transferred properly and thus to escape from the original concept.