Nightly News   |  June 28, 2013

Former Wall Street businessman helps South African townships prosper

An idealistic Harvard and Oxford graduate left his six-figure job on Wall Street for Africa, where he’s helping one of South Africa’s poorest townships learn how to be entrepreneurs. NBC’s Ron Allen reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, with the president in south africa and people around the world pulling for nelson mandela , a story about a young man from south africa . he studied and worked here in the united states , but returned home with knowledge, experience, and his vision. to make a difference in one of south africa 's poorest townships. here is nbc's ron allen .

>> reporter: when most people look around alexandra township , they see only deep poverty with jobs, education, and opportunity hard to find. but this man sees vast untapped potential.

>> why not? we have never given people a chance in this country. a talent pool of at least 10 million people.

>> reporter: an ambitious harvard and oxford grad who left a six-figure job on wall street to come home and prove a point. yousef believes there are business entrepreneurs here that can be just as successful. chris pinar, runs a bread delivery service. two years, business is booming.

>> i think it would be a good time to set pricing up.

>> reporter: thousands apply to the nonprofit program. he put them through a battery of tests and interviews, searching for intangible skills essential to business success .

>> they want to inspire people in community like this. that's crucial.

>> reporter: this man runs a tourism agency. this person run is a caterer. each received an initial investment of $1,500. a lot of money in this community. each now earns that much in profit every month. and all that success has attracted the attention of some wealthy businesses and the south african government . yousef has funding for several hundred entrepreneurs.

>> we really can get to the point where this will be a different society.

>> reporter: that is his goal to show community like these townships prosper. when enough self-starters here get a real chance. ron allen , nbc news, alexandra township ,