About Us

A Brief History

AspireYouth came into existence over a cup of coffee. As the then CEO of a NGO I had approached a potential donor, Andy Milne, looking for funding. Andy was the Founder and CEO of Hello Doctor. He listened to my story, apologized for the fact that he couldn’t provide funding, but offered an opportunity for young people to earn money by selling his product.

At that point (2014), I had been working in the youth development field for about twenty years; was sick to my teeth of the whole fundraising/donor dependency of the NGO sector and deeply concerned about the devastating impact that poverty had on young South Africans.
The conversation with Andy created a different pathway. A path that offered tangible economic access for impoverished South Africans, framed within the context of a social business that could sustain itself without donor dependency.
This path became AspireYouth. Four years later, with healthy doses of laughter, tears and general mad chaos, we have a proven model, a dynamic team and an ever-increasing number of young people who experience positive growth through both their own ability and tenacity and the support and opportunities offered by AspireYouth.

Mark Gamble
Executive Director and Founder of AspireYouth
The How

It really is quite simple, we build connections that create opportunities for young South Africans to generate their own income. Alongside of this we offer training, development and mentorship. Our model is based on authentic and valued relationship.

Our Structure

AspireYouth operates as a hybrid entity, with both a non-profit company Aspire2Gro and a Pty(Ltd) Aspire Youth Development Solutions.
Aspire2Gro is managed by a Board of Directors and functions to manage the training unit within AspireYouth and other donor-based projects.
Aspire Youth Development Solutions operates our two core business operations and brokers micro-business opportunities for successful youth applicants.
Between 15% and 25% of all profit generated by our Pty(Ltd) is allocated to our non-profit company. By 2021 we aim to cover 85% of the non-profit’s budget through the allocation of profit generated through the work of Aspire Youth Development Solutions.

Our Team

Mark Gamble: Founder and Executive Director Aspire Youth Development Solutions; Non-Executive Board member Aspire2Gro.
Mark has worked in the field of child and youth development since 1994. He has led several NGO’s and innovated numerous programmes that respond to the needs of young people.  Curiosity and ‘right action’ are strong drives for Mark. 

Paul Stanford: Lead: Trade.Skill.Life
Paul is a Pastor and business owner. He has worked in the service of other people for most of his life, focusing on making the teaching of Christ real in communities that are deeply challenged by poverty. 
Paul’s love of life permeates through his work, community projects and family.  

Sophie Lowe: Lead Administration
Sophie is a young determined individual, since leaving the UK and building her life in South Africa 6 years ago she has volunteered at many different organizations. After moving to Cape Town and witnessing the enormous gap between wealth and poverty she came across AspireYouth. 
“I related to the practical and relational approach of AspireYouth that inspires young people to create and build their own future."

Athenkosi Baba: Associate
My love for Youth Development started after completing matric. I started to grow a passion in community work after seeing a need of giving back to my peers by volunteering in different NGO’s. Since then, I have been working with youth in South Africa for the past 8 years. In few words, I describe myself as a Social entrepreneur with a passion in youth empowerment. 

Dumisani Wambi: Associate
Is a Khayelitsha-based father of three and social entrepreneur with a decades' experience in community development. The CPUT Journalism graduate has ambitions to have impact professionally in innovation, education and recreation in Afrikan counties. He is the founder of recreation development non-profit Real Youth International and social marketing, events and project management agency, Imbovane Group. His ubuntupreneurship efforts are currently focused on the establishment of sustainable eco-systems and models in informal markets through collaborative professionals and growing business networks. 

Aspire2Gro Board

Simon Bold
Business Owner BOLD.COM
Coach and Facilitator

Xolani Sampies
Project Manager – Youth Programmes Afrika Tikkun
Youth Worker

Niki Alexander
Operations Manager Educo Africa
Coach and Youth Worker

Paul Stanford
Pastor, Business Owner and Project Lead: Trade.Skill.Life

Mark Gamble (Non-Executive)
Executive Director AspireYouth