Australian businesses benefit from South African model


07 March 2007 South Africa shows Australia how to make ORT JET fly ORT South Africa has been sharing know-how about its innovative and highly successful mentoring programme for struggling businesspeople with Australian ORT. Australian ORTs Natalie Laifer spent a week in South Africa learning the ins and outs of the programme ahead of ORT JETs launch in Sydney this month. The trip will help me set up ORT JET in Australia by deepening my procedural knowledge of the programme and by increasing my understanding of business terminology and the needs and outlooks of businesspeople, Ms Laifer said. This new found knowledge will help in her dealings with the businesspeople who come to her for help as well as with those who volunteer their time to give expert advice and guidance. While I was in South Africa I saw people walking out of a meeting with ORT JET with a little more light in their eyes; a weight had been lifted off their shoulders, Ms Laifer said. They were given hope by the fact that there was someone there to help them. ORT South Africa has helped more than 110 businesses since they launched ORT JET (Jewish Entrepreneurial Training) 18 months ago; of these, 25 per cent have been turned around, and the other businesses are still working with volunteer consultants in order to achieve their business objectives, said ORT South Africa National Director Michael Sieff. These were businesses that were in dire straits which, thanks to ORT JET, were put on the right track, Dr Avron Urison, ORT JETs Chief Executive Officer, added. Unfortunately weve also had to help a small number close up; but even then our consultants were able to provide advice and support that enabled our clients to make the best of a bad situation. In certain situations we have helped to find alternative work for these people. ORT JET SA Administrator Michelle Alpert, ORT SA Fundraising Executive Carol Rod, Australian ORTs Natalie Laifer, ORT SA National Director Michael Sieff. ORT JET in South Africa has attracted more than 200 successful businesspeople who volunteer their time to give expert assistance to entrepreneurs in need. The result is that more businesses do well, generating income and employment in the Jewish and wider communities and, ultimately, ensuring that there is more wealth available for philanthropy, Mr Sieff said. It has also attracted many people to ORT who are new to our organisation. Not only is Australian ORT benefiting from ORT South Africas experience, it is also getting connected to the large ex-pat South African community in Australia. They are telling their contacts to spread the word about ORT JET among their friends and relatives in Australia and to encourage them to get involved, said Ms Laifer. World ORT is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation and has helped more than 3 million people Jewish and non-Jewish since its foundation in 1880.