Monthly Archives: September 2013

2nd Annual Junior Innovators Competition

Since January 2013, hundreds of high-school learners from schools across the country have participated in Junior Achievement South Africa’s (JASA) Mini Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Academy Programmes gaining access to skills on how to manage their own small businesses. In September, these initiatives culminated in the Junior Innovators awards ceremony at Investec recognising learners who have demonstrated promising entrepreneurial potential.

The Junior Innovators Competition, now in its second (2nd) year was jointly developed by Investec and JASA with the aim of stimulating entrepreneurial skills and thinking among learners in grades 10 and 11.

Learners who participated in any Junior Achievement Mini Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Academy Programmes were invited to apply for the Junior Innovators Competition, 40 of whom were then selected on the basis of their business idea to participate in the week-long entrepreneurship training workshop at Investec in Johannesburg. During the final workshop, mentors, all JASA alumni, played a role in helping leaners refine their business ideas by exposing them to the basics of business, microeconomics, business ethics and ways of improving their entrepreneurial potential.

The competition gave learners an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned through JASA’s programmes as well as the rigorous entrepreneurship training workshop hosted by Investec.

Linda McClure noted, “The Junior Innovators Competition is a fantastic opportunity for learners who have participated in a Junior Achievement Programme. The intensive four-day workshop exposes learners to various aspects of entrepreneurship and the structure of the competition ensures that learners have to work in teams as well as individually. The experience for the learners is invaluable and great appreciation goes to Investec for making this possible.”

Finalists were judged based on a number of attributes. These relate to their products as well as their business acumen, including their willingness to take risks, and their resilience, passion and confidence about their business idea. With this year’s theme being innovation, judges also took into account the quality of innovation and knowledge of a respective industry and target market. The learner who  developed the most innovative business idea and was selected as the winner of the competition received R60 000 towards their tertiary study at a university of their choice.

Setlogane Manchidi, head of Investec Corporate Social Investment (CSI), believes the Junior Innovators Competition is an ideal fit with Investec’s philosophy in this area as it is underpinned by the two strategic pillars of education and entrepreneurship. Commenting on this year’s competition, Mr Manchidi says: “Our focus on entrepreneurship is deliberate. At Investec, we believe that by developing a generation of entrepreneurs we will be able to create opportunities for employment, wealth creation and socio-economic growth. Through the Junior Innovators Competition, we are able to identify entrepreneurial talent and provide an opportunity for these individuals to grow into some of South Africa’s successful future business leaders.”

The winner of the Junior Innovators Competition was announced at a gala dinner hosted at Investec on Thursday 26 September 2013. Kholofelo Ramalepe from Motse Maria Secondary School in Limpopo walked away with 1st prize for her innovative melodical fishing rod – a fishing rod with a water proof motion sensor.   The rod will sense fish in close proximity to the rod, guaranteeing both commercial and subsistence fishermen with results.  Kholofelo completed her Mini Enterprise Programme, funded by MasterCard earlier this year.  2nd place went to Iqbaal Osman’s innovative three-in-one stapler, punch and staple remover, Iqbaal studies at Merebank Secondary School in KZN, Iqbaal attended a Mini Enterprise Programme funded by Federal Mogul. Lonwabo Ncanda from Princess High School in Johannesburg was awarded 3rd place, he devised an online music store which will create a platform for young and upcoming musicians and producers, he completed a Mini Enterprise Programme funded by Citi.

These follow appropriately from the high standard set by the 2012 finalists and particularly Junior Innovator competition finalist, Keith Mbaso from Eqinisweni Secondary school, who went on, as part of a team to win the SA HP Global Social Innovation Relay with the idea of converting kinetic energy from a playground to power households near the playground and, in so doing, assist the community.

Junior Innovators Finals 1379697_580706591996514_935143111_n 1375926_580817528652087_1887676996_n(1)


Environmental Entrepreneurs Survey Results

Junior Achievement South Africa recently completed a survey relating to their Environmental Entrepreneurs Programme, funded by HSBC.

45 of the 50 participating Gauteng schools completed the survey and the results were phenomenal.

The Environmental Entrepreneurs Programme was overwhelmingly successful and the school educators and learners welcomed and greatly enjoyed it. The programme is aligned to the school curriculum which ensured support and engagement of the educators.



 Total schools in 2012 and 2013: 50

Total schools surveyed: 45

Summary of results:

The Environmental Entrepreneurs Programme was overwhelmingly successful and the school educators and learners welcomed and greatly enjoyed it. The programme is aligned to the school curriculum which ensured support and engagement of the educators.

The results of the survey indicate that there has been a definite increase among the educators and learners in awareness of the need to keep the environment clean, save energy and not pollute. Results also indicate that learners have changed their behaviour and taken action to ensure that they do keep their environment clean.

When asked if the programme had an effect on how the educators approach environmental issues in their teaching, all but 2 of the schools surveyed reported that the teachers’ insight, approach and personal awareness of environmental issues increased.  In addition, all the schools indicated that the programme had an impact on the environment around the school with some schools starting to clean their own school grounds and other schools cleaning the environment around the school.

The principals and educators also reported that the learners’ behaviour had changed as a result of their participation in the programme.  Schools that are involved with recycling projects saw learners become much more active and participating more, taking responsibility in sorting recycling material at school. Most schools indicated that the learners started keeping their environment cleaner and making use of bins provided.

Specifically, the principal at Mveledzo Primary School in Mamelodi reported that “Educators encourage learners now to pick up the papers and litter and keep the school grounds clean. The learners eagerly participate as they enjoyed the programme so much.” This statement was made in August 2013 and the programme was implemented at Mveledzo in May 2012. The principal at Sikanyisele Primary School said, “This programme solved most of our littering problems as learners are willing to pick up the litter on the school grounds”.  Ithute Primary School reported “Our school is now free of litter… they put rubbish in the bin provided.”

Schools that started their own recycling programmes reported that the Environmental Entrepreneurs Programme was the impetus for doing that. Some schools began collecting plastic bottles, cans and papers for recycling. Moretele Primary School entered a competition with ABI and received mobile bins from the Department of Environmental Affairs. Malvern Primary School started collect-a-can and Ithute Primary School began collecting recycling materials for selling.

All schools involved highly recommend the continuation of the programme in their schools. There were many requests for the programme to continue. Some schools preferred that the grade 7’s attend the programme, while most requested for learners to receive the programme in grade 6 and 7 to enforce the learning. Many schools indicated the benefit of the programme to the educators and requested more involvement of the educators in terms of presenting workshops to them as well.

Not only were the learners learning about environmental issues but other skills were developed through our methodology. The learners improved their communication skills which increased their self-esteem and self-confidence. Creativity was encouraged through the practical activities and the learners greatly improved their ability to express themselves. Social skills were developed as the learners had to work together in groups to share ideas, make plans, delegate tasks, share materials and deliver products.

The facilitators on the programme also witnessed bonding between educators and learners. Many educators reported that the programme was very insightful, not only for the content, but also for learning different methods of teaching and seeing how group work can be effective as a teaching methodology.

There is no question that the Environmental Entrepreneurs Programme was very well received and had much impact on many levels with the learners and the educators.

The complete evaluation report with answers to specific survey questions is available upon request.

Other Notable Quotes:

Legora Primary School, Principal Mohlamme Mathebe:  “The children no longer get into the flower gardens (damaging the plants) and they do not litter as they used to. I also noticed that the taps are not dripping. It would be great if this programme could be filmed so that all the children could see the demonstrations”.

Mahlasedi Primary School, Principal Joe Suman: “The programme enhanced the school curriculum as it was incorporated in arts and culture, natural science as well as social science”.

Meetse A Bophelo Primary School, Principal Patrick Sikhumbana and HOD Maphutu Rammutla: “Let JASA bring more programmes … We really love the programme, they must come back again. It was excellent”.

Mononong Primary School, Principal Mrs Mbehlele and HOD Mr Koka: “Our experience with JASA and the facilitators was excellent because of the impact it has on the behaviour and responsibility taken for the environment.”

Morakoma Primary School, Principal MT Letepe and HOD D Legodi: “I recommend that JASA start with our school beginning next year so that the learners can use that knowledge throughout the year.”

Tshimollo Primary School, Principal JT LEshika and HOD Maria Ramushu: “The programme was informative and opened our eyes that waste products can be re-used”.

Chief Lithuli Primary School, HOD Sandra Taby and Educator Thandi Ntuli: “The programme was helpful in changing behaviour towards the environment at school and at homes”.

Kgalema Primary School, Deputy Principal Anna Mokone: “All schools must participate so that we have one voice on keeping our environment clean and protected.  The Eco-warrior programme is a very vital program that should continuously assist and advice school on matters relating to the environment.”

Ditau Primary School Principal Rosta Masudubele and HOD Mr Gregory Kokong: “….well monitored programme, so well organised… continuation of this programme would not only benefit learners but also the stakeholders of the school at large.”

Selpe Thema Primary School: “It was one of the most interesting and enjoyable programmes the learners ever had.”

Usindiso Primary School: “There are environmental issues that we tend to ignore; this programme made us aware of them. Please include grade 5’s as it will lay a good foundation for their natural and social science subjects and skills.”

Vukanzenzele Primary School, HOD Angel Mbanjwa and Co-facilitator Bongani Nkosi: “This is an edu-taining programme – educating and entertaining! We recommend this campaign to all learners in all school.”

Eco Programme KZNParkhurst 7

Junior Innovators Competition 2013

JASA in partnership with Investec Bank host the annual Junior Innovators Competition, a competition which aims to reward JASA’s top young entrepreneurs with an intensive four day entrepreneurship workshop and the opportunity to win a R60 000 bursary. This is the second year that the Junior Innovators Competition will take place on 22nd – 27th September 2013. The competition is open to anyone that has participated in a high school Junior Achievement Programme during 2013. For the first round of the competition, the learners had to submit an innovative business concept. Their innovation could be around the product, process or marketing. JASA received more than 200 applications from across the country, of which 40 have been selected to move on to the next round. This round will take place between 22nd and 27th September when the finalists will travel to Johannesburg and spend four days refining their concepts into a five minute presentation. Over the four days the learners will attend workshops on marketing, presentation skills, product costing, innovation and much more. They will also be exposed to various other successful entrepreneurs who will engage with the finalists about their experiences as an entrepreneur.
Eight Junior Achievement South Africa Alumni will be on hand to mentor the learners, whilst also evaluating the learners ability to work in teams and their leadership potential.
Utilising all of the skills they have learnt over the week, learners will then present their concept to a panel of judges. The judges scores together with their mentors scores and a team score awarded for team activities will identify the top ten. The top ten will present their concepts to another panel of judges who will select the best presentation. The winner of the competition will be awarded the R60 000 bursary during a gala dinner that will be held on 26th September 2013.
“This is the second year that we are hosting the Junior Innovators Competition in partnership with Investec Bank. This year the workshop includes even more speakers and activities, and promises to be more successful than last years competition,” noted Linda McClure, Managing Director of Junior Achievement South Africa.
To follow the competition, keep an eye on #JuniorInnovators on Twitter or follow @JASouthAfrica.