Goldman Sachs Senior Leader Travels to Africa to Support MTV Staying Alive Foundation
In 2015, John Levene, a senior leader in Goldman Sachs’ Securities Division, joined the MTV Staying Alive Foundation – a nonprofit organization that aims to increase awareness, education and prevention of the HIV epidemic among young people – on a self-funded trip to Africa to witness the charity’s impact first-hand.
Later that year, John and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation brainstormed a new social enterprise program that combines business training, grants and ongoing mentoring to enable existing MTV Staying Alive ambassadors to build sustainable income-generating activities to fund their charitable work. The program launched formally in 2016, and six projects, ranging from chicken hatching to internet cafes, were selected to receive $30,000 in grants from the MTV Staying Alive Foundation.
The $250,000 required for the social enterprise program was raised through Goldman Sachs Gives grant recommendations from the firm’s partners, Goldman Sachs colleagues across levels, and clients who had expressed an interest in the project.
This month, John is visiting the entrepreneurs and blogging about the progress these grantees are driving in their respective communities.
“I’m eager to keep in touch with the projects supported by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation Social Enterprise Fund,” John said. “We had an idea, set a goal and can now move forward and turn that dream into a reality.”