Monthly Archives: November 2011

Junior Achievement South Africa & HSBC Address Youth Unemployment and Climate Change

Junior Achievement South Africa announced on Monday the launch of its Environmental Entrepreneurs programme. The programme focuses on promoting an understanding of the challenges of climate change, and how changes in behaviour can mitigate these challenges. It aims to encourage responsibility and cooperation among the learners, as these characteristics are necessary to drive personal habits which can ensure environmental sustainability. The programme culminates in the launch of a recycling project, initiated by the learners, encouraging socially responsible businesses.

Eco Programme 2012

Funded by HSBC Global, the Environmental Entrepreneurs programme has been developed for implementation in schools for learners in Grades 6 and 7 – ages 10 – 12 years. The programme was initially piloted in Latin America and has been redesigned to suit the environmental needs of South Africa.  The launch in Africa has been made possible by a further generous grant from HSBC Global of £1,200 000 – £600 000 for South Africa and £300 000 each for Nigeria and Kenya.  Isabel Correia, Head of Marketing and Company Secretary for HSBC South Africa noted “If we are successful in promoting environmental awareness and care amongst the young people who are our future leaders, we have a far greater chance of mitigating challenges to the environment and achieving higher levels of environmental sustainability.”

During the seven week programme, learners will be taught about climate change and the effect it has on the world and its economies. They will also be introduced to the concept of sustainable development and how it relates to care and conservation of our natural resources.  They will learn about the three “R”’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Finally the learners will be divided into teams, which will be required to develop, plan and launch their own sustainable recycling businesses.

Eco Programme 2012

“South Africa is perfectly positioned to be at the forefront of environmentally and socially responsible business in the world.  With our high rate of unemployed youth and high levels of pollution, Junior Achievement South Africa and HSBC Global identified an opportunity for us to translate the issues of our country into a key development focus. The Environmental Entrepreneurs programme will help create environmentally conscious, social entrepreneurs from a very young age, while addressing youth unemployment and global warming,” stated Linda McClure, Managing Director of Junior Achievement South Africa.

“All eyes will be on South Africa during the COP17 conference next week, when representatives of the world’s governments, international organizations and civil society will meet in Durban to discuss the global effects of climate change.  This programme aims at diminishing the causes of climate change as well as diminishing poverty and unemployment in South Africa through promoting entrepreneurship as an alternative option to employment,”she added.

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Junior Achievement South Africa Teen Entrepreneurs Make South Africa Proud!

Soweto students show dedication to fostering economic growth across the sub-Saharan region through business acumen and innovation.

Ten excited learners, in Grades 10 and 11, from Meadowlands Secondary school in Soweto, arrived at OR Tambo International airport on 18th October 2011.  They were about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an all-expenses paid trip to the Second Annual Regional Junior Achievement (JA) Africa Region, Company of the Year (COY) competition in Accra, Ghana, sponsored by Barclays and Fedex.

At the airport

The learners were all participants in the Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) Entrepreneurship Academy Programme funded by Investec.  The programme is a seven month long, intensive programme which aims to educate over 400 Grade 10 and 11 learners from eleven under resourced schools across six provinces on every aspect of running their own business, they are taught entrepreneurial skills by essentially starting up and running their own mini companies.   The Meadowlands students had split themselves into two companies namely; Sisonke Enterprise and Young Achievers.  These mini company’s had been selected from over approximately 150 other mini companies, launched during JASA programmes during 2011, to represent South Africa in the JA Africa Region COY competition, due to their innovative products.

Sisonke Enterprise

Sisonke Enterprise saw a need in their community, caused by a lack of electricity, specifically load shedding. They solved the need identified, by creating the Circuit Lamp Shade, a product that would provide buyers with an additional source of light during power outages.  The lamp shade is made from ice cream sticks, which are recycled.  They sold ice creams at school and refunded children that brought the sticks back to them.  They also located a supplier of new unused ice cream sticks for larger orders.  They are also currently in the development stages of a solar powered kettle.

Sisonke Display

Young Achievers

Young Achievers produce the Express Music Case:  a plastic suitcase that has been modified to include various forms of music players.  The company decided to modify a suitcase to help their schoolmates, since cell phones are not allowed in schools, but school bags are.  The case runs on a battery so it is perfect for areas with load shedding or for homes with no electricity.  They also customised some cases to include a torch that can be used when the power goes out or for walking to school early in the morning or for studying late at night.

Young Achievers Display

Five representatives from each company were selected to travel to Ghana to represent their company’s.

The South African teams joined 20 other student companies from 14 sub-Saharan countries namely; Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Kenya, Mauritius, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.

Both teams performed extremely well in all aspects of the four day competition.  They produced excellent Company Reports, performed exceptionally well in their Trade Fair booths, executed phenomenal four minute business presentations to a hall filled with people and handled themselves with professionalism during their panel interviews. They enjoyed socialising with learners from different African countries and were the most eager teams at the competition.  The South African teams were always sitting in the front row, or jumping on stage with the performers to dance.  They were eager to share their views and experiences with anyone that was willing to listen and they were always early to any of the sessions.  They also thoroughly enjoyed the Ghanaian weather and took full advantage of the pool.

Meadowlands Team Swimming

Unfortunately neither South African team was awarded the ultimate prize, the Kenyan team Eco Eagles deservedly won.  Eco Eagles produced quality organic broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce using their own unique, innovative organic and modern scientific methods.  They used locally available waste material, instead of soil, as a growing medium, without any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, thus producing an environmentally friendly and cost-effective product.

Although our teams did not bring home any of the prizes, what they gained in knowledge and experience far outweighs any trophy.

“Our trip to Ghana was awesome!  There were so many life changing moments, we learnt so much, met so many new people and had a great time.  A big thank you to Junior Achievement South Africa for making our dreams realities.” Omphile Rakate – Young Achievers

Young Achievers