This is Alvin and Gavin. They've become friends through being part of the Paradigm Shift initiative. Alvin is an entrepreneur and owns a small business selling sweets and snacks outside an elementary school in Hout Bay. Gavin is a retired businessman with 45 year experience in the textile and garment industry. Neither of them are strangers to hard work. They meet together once every 2 weeks and Gavin mentors Alvin, giving him advice that would benefit his business.
Paradigm Shift works alongside churches to develop a more effective, sustainable way to reach the poor in their communities. They believe that a more sustainable approach to poverty alleviation creates empowerment rather than dependency. And so they help community and faith-based organizations move beyond giving handouts to creating lasting change in the lives of the poor.
They develop entrepreneurship and provide training, coaching, resources and materials to partner churches so that they can implement the Paradigm Shift entrepreneurship development program in their communities. The program specifically targets individuals who turn to entrepreneurship as a way out of poverty (microentrepreneurs). It aims to help these microentrepreneurs grow their businesses beyond subsistence by providing them with business training, discipleship, microcredit and mentorship.