Nicola Galombik

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Nicola Galombik
Nicola Galombik.jpg
NationalitySouth African
  • Bachelor's degree in Film, Politics & Psychology
  • Masters in Cinema and Media Studies
Alma mater
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • New York University
  • Investor
  • Social Entrepreneur
Known forChairman of the Board of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator
TitleExecutive Director
AwardsSkoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2019)

Nicola Galombik is a South African social entrepreneur and businesswoman, known for founding Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, an award-winning South African nonprofit. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Yellowwoods, an investment holding company based in South Africa.


Nicola Galombik received her Bachelor's degree in Film, Politics & Psychology with honors from University of the Witwatersrand[1] in 1988 before earning her Masters in Cinema and Media Studies from New York University in 1992.[2]

Professional life

Nicola is the Executive Director of Yellowwoods Investments, an investment holding company based in South Africa[3]. Prior to joining Yellowwoods in 2010, she worked as the Managing Director of Converse Consulting from 2004 to 2009. She was the Head of Television strategy at South African Broadcasting Corporation from 1996 to 2003 where she established their education department,[4] and the Head of Local Content for the Independent Broadcasting Authority from 1994 to 1996.[5]

Harambee youth employment accelerator

Galombik founded Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator in 2010 to address high youth unemployment in South Africa, caused by a large demographic "bulge" of youth reaching working age[6] and to solve a supply and demand mismatch between labor and employers.[7] In Swahili "Harambee" means "we all pull together".[8] Galombik has served as the Board Chair since the founding of the organization. The organization was incubated by Galombik's investment firm, Yellowwoods, in partnership with the South African Government's National Treasury’s Jobs Fund.[9] Harambee connects first-time job seekers to employer partners through a mobile-accessed network that assesses and trains first time job seekers for their first job. By creating a large network of workers that is easily navigable and proving that youth can be successfully retained using this method, Harambee has been able to scale their efforts and effectiveness.[10] Harambee began with a goal of connecting 10,000 unemployed South African youth to jobs and has now provided 100,000 first-time job seekers with employment opportunities at over 500 companies. The non-profit and its leadership have been recognized with awards and funding from organizations such as the Skoll Foundation[11] and USAID.[12]

Honors, decorations, awards and distinctions

Nicola has received several grants, fellowships, and awards, including the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2019.[13] She is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and African Leadership Network, and the IGD Frontier 100.[14] She was also a 2015 John P. McNulty Prize Laureate and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.[15] She also received a Fulbright Scholarship to attend New York University.[16]

Publications, talks and interviews

Nicola has served as a panelist for the African Leadership Academy's Decennial Symposium on Enabling Social Enterprise,[17] and has spoken at the GIBS Business School as well. She has also been interviewed by the Rockefeller Foundation's #Solvable podcast.

See also

  • Youth Unemployment in South Africa

In the media



  1. Keene, Rochelle. "Our Graduates 1924-2012" (PDF). University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  2. "MA Graduates, By Year". NYU. NYU. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  3. "Nicola Galombik Biography". Skoll Foundation. Retrieved 29 February 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. Hassen, Fakir. "Awards keep pouring in". D+C. D+C. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  5. "Nicola Galombik". Aspen Global Leadership Network. The Aspen Institute. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  6. "How to Prevent a Demographic "Youth Bulge" From Causing Widespread Unemployment". UN Dispatch. UN Dispatch. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  7. "Business approaches and human impact: how three entrepreneurs are driving change in sub-Saharan Africa". Washingtonian. Washingtonian Media Inc. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  8. "5 Cool Things That Could Make The World A Better Place By 2030". NPR. NPR. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  9. Kruger, Danielle. "Harambee wins 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship". IT News Africa. African Innovator Group (Pty) Ltd. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  10. "Harambee, Youth Employment Accelerator, winner in NGO's category". Mail & Guardian. Mail & Guardian Online. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  11. Edwards, Caryn. "South African NPO wins 2019 Skoll Award for social entrepreneurship". The South African. Blue Sky Publications Ltd. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  12. "USAID gives $3.5m boost to Harambee for youth employment". Biz Community. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  13. "5 Cool Things That Could Make The World A Better Place By 2030". NPR. NPR. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  14. "Initiative For Global Development To Convene Frontier 100 Forum In South Africa". The Guardian. Guardian Newspapers. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  15. Colegrove, Caitlin. "2015 McNulty Prize Laureates Announced". The Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  16. "Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator". Skoll Foundation. Skoll Foundation. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  17. "Decennial Symposium: Enabling Social Enterprise". African Leadership Academy. African Leadership Academy. Retrieved 27 February 2020.

External links

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