Juma Ventures III

Spring-Summer 2021
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Marketing & Communications
Organization Type
Children, Youth & Families,
Community or Economic Development,
Human Services


Juma Ventures (Juma) is a nonprofit social enterprise that operates businesses with the purpose of employing young people. Juma makes sure its clients EARN a paycheck, LEARN to manage their money and gain essential skills like responsibility, teamwork and how to communicate in the workplace. Ultimately, Juma CONNECTS them to their next job and sets them on a path to a career. Juma’s vision is that all young people have the opportunity to succeed and thrive in the career of their choice, competing in a job market that is inclusive, equitable, and diverse. Juma is effectively a “learning lab” for developing best practices in youth employment.


Equity is central to Juma’s vision, and as an organization that serves more than 90% youth of color, their work is through a racial equity lens. Over the past 28 years, Juma has developed best practices, expertise and a unique point of view for what it takes to successfully employ young people who others prejudge to be “unemployable.” Juma believes they have ideas to share that could change the world. The organization would like to develop a thought leadership strategy that would align with its marketing strategy and anchor on the expertise of Juma’s CEO, GSB alumnae Adriane Armstrong, MBA ‘09. As a woman of color, Adriane is eager to have a more prominent voice in the dialogue on equity today. 

Project Objectives

At a time when leaders of color are increasingly being recognized, CEO Adriane Armstrong is well-positioned to share best practices and further Juma’s vision to affect systemic change. Juma sought ACT’s help to develop a thought leadership messaging document that would align with its marketing strategy and amplify its impact. Questions answered include: How might Juma position itself with a unique voice at this moment in time? What are the strongest messages that will resonate with important target audiences (large companies) and gain attention and potential new funding sources? 

Project Overview

The project consisted of three phases:
Phase 1: Preparation: Learn about Juma’s activities to date, develop interview questions, create list of interviewees.

Phase 2: Conduct interviews with key stakeholders (clients, former clients, board members, partners.

Phase 3: Work together to craft a set of thought leadership messages, informed by the stakeholder interviews with supporting by Juma’s efforts to date and research identified.

Key Recommendations

The ACT Team recommended:

  • Align messaging to current trends – back to work following COVID, perceived shortage of workers, changing nature of workforce
  • Develop messaging that takes a contrarian, provocative or even controversial view in order to stand out and be heard
  • Differentiate thought leadership messaging from marketing messaging by focusing on broader societal issues and perspectives
  • Back up messaging with research, data, best practices
  • Test messaging with internal and then external stakeholders
  • Focus on expertise and credibility of Juma as an employer that brings 28 years of experience employing opportunity youth