30 October 2013, Today, 31 unemployed Johannesburg youth will graduate from the Immersion Training Strategy: Targeting Young Marginalised Youth (ITS TYME) programme, a 20 week long incubator style entrepreneurship skills programme for out of school youth between the ages of 18 and 35. The project also includes traditional workplace readiness skills, life skills, financial literacy and banking and saving. The ITS TYME Programme is made possible by generous funding from Absa.
The graduates from the Hillbrow and Alexandra ITS TYME Programmes will receive their certificates of completion during a certification ceremony held in Alexandra today. In total 17 ITS TYME programmes have been facilitated this year, in Gauteng, Western Cape, North West and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.
During the programme students are introduced to social innovation, business case studies and relevant guest speakers, and are exposed to other young and successful entrepreneurs, while running their own businesses, either in teams or as sole proprietors. Research has shown that entrepreneurs who team up in groups of two or more are more likely to sustain their business in the long run.
Some of the types of businesses that the graduating students have started are t-shirt printing, fruit and vegetables, cleaning materials, fast food and customized clocks. The company that performed the best during the programme was Spotless Hygiene, a cleaning material company. They managed to generate a net profit of approximately R3500 during the first few weeks of business.
“I am very proud of this group of graduates. All of the businesses are performing well and there is no reason why the businesses should not continue now that the programme is complete. Over 300 youth will have completed this programme, in 2013, which is also being run in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. Junior Achievement Africa plans to reach 4 050 unemployed youth through the ITS TYME Programme over three years,” said Bonga Khumalo, National Programme Coordinator for Junior Achievement South Africa.
After completing the ITS TYME Programme, the graduates receive mentoring support for a period of six months after the programme completion, ensuring that they receive as much support as possible. The programme has proved to be extremely effective, with a high percentage of programme graduates being actively engaged in the economy upon completion of the programme.