Category Archives: Articles of Interest

Two JASA Alumni Feature in Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans

Junior Achievement South Africa is proud to announce that TWO of our successful alumni have been included in this years Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans edition.
This is the eighth year that Mail & Guardian have searched for 200 young, inspiring South Africans to feature. “Half-a-dozen researchers independently scour the country for three months searching for interesting young people doing amazing things. We also take our readers’ nominations—more than 1 200 came through this year—and sift through them for the best of the bunch. Our editorial staff and our most reliable sources send in their recommendations. Then we whittle down our long list into a short list and ultimately into a final list of young people who then are profiled by a team of writers and presented across our platforms. Each year we find 200 young people, aged 35 and under, who were born here or have made South Africa their home, and who are full of talent, dreams and drive,” noted Tanya Pampalone, Executive Editor, 200 Young South Africans.

You may have seen Ntuthuko’s story in various publications last year. He was selected as one of our Faces of JASA 2012. Ntuthuko completed his JASA programme in 1997 and the programme sparked his interest in entrepreneurship, which eventually lead to him starting his own panel beating shop. Ntuthuko is still a loyal follower of JASA and he is always first in line to give back to the organisation by offering to share his story and provide field trips to his workshop to learners and learners currently on JASA programmes.

Happy Khambule is also a strong supporter of Junior Achievement South Africa. After completing the Mini Enterprise Programme in 2006, Happy went on to complete the Banks in Action and Success Skills programmes in 2007 and JA Titan in 2008. Happy went on to be elected as Financial Manager of the JASA Youth Council in 2008. Since then, Happy has always been willing to assist JASA with mentoring and events. Most recently Happy gave up five days from his busy schedule to mentor a group of five learners during the Investec Junior Innovators Competition. Happy is another one of Junior Achievement South Africa’s most promising alumni.

Ntuthuko SheziNtuthuko Shezi
If you need to catch a flight from OR Tambo airport and your car has a dent, or a cracked windscreen, Scratch Mobile will fix it for you while you are away. Scratch Mobile is the brainchild of 32-year-old Ntuthuko Shezi, whose passion for business stemmed from a desire to change his family’s financial situation. He grew up in rural Ndwedwe in KwaZulu-Natal, with a single mother, a teacher who sold sweets, fish and vetkoek for extra money at the school she worked at, and Shezi would often help her. His grandparents kept cows for milk and grew their own fruit and vegetables. The family had no electricity. These difficulties have led to Shezi’s dream of being a future Ndwedwe ward councillor. When he left his job in management consulting he fortuitously recognised a gap in the panel-beating industry. Even through he did not have a clue about panel beating, his degree in engineering from the University of Cape Town made it easier for him to demystify in his head a subject many see as rocket science. His history in management alerted him to the fact that the industry was known for offering little compassion and care to customers and he wanted to change this and give customers who needed their cars fixed an option that was convenient for them and put their needs first. Scratch Mobile, which does panel beating, spray painting and auto glass repairs and replacements, is the first known business of its kind in the world and Shezi is looking to expand, as its success has been exceptional. The business fixes between 170 and 200 cars every month and has a turnover of a few million a year. His aim is to be a game-changer, not just to do things the way they have been done for a long time. — Ilham Rawoot

Happy Khambule

Happy Khambule
Happy Khambule loves being part of a collective. It’s his “we” attitude that makes him a British Council Global Changemaker and International Climate Champion. Khambule, a climate-change activist with a law degree, dreamt in early childhood of being president. Now he not only aspires to shape South Africa’s environmental policies but also to effect real change within communities, working with schools and the youth to create awareness of climate change. Although he has big ambitions he doesn’t allow them to overshadow his passions. The work he does as Gauteng co-ordinator of Project 90 x 2030 allows him to strike the right balance between the two. The project challenges society to change the way it lives in order to preserve the environment. The aim is to reduce our carbon footprint by 90% by the year 2030. Khambule’s philosophy is that “every generation equips the next generation with knowledge”. It is his job to get schools in the province to change their attitude towards the environment by setting up green clubs and educating pupils about sustainable behaviours. In light of his involvement with Ashoka Youth Ventures, a global project that gets young people thinking about how to address social issues, it is only natural that the work he does focuses so strongly on change. But getting people to change has its own challenges. To keep the youth interested and involved in climate change Khambule and his team continually have to think of more innovative and exciting campaigns using social media and whatever other tools are available. His mom has always told him to enjoy whatever it is that he does. Khambule takes that advice further. He loves what he does — working with people and making change happen. “When you see change happen and it has come about from a collective effort that is perfect.” — Caroline Cowan


Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa Report – Omidyar Network

Written by Linda McClure, Managing Director of Junior Achievement South Africa

The recently released research report published by Omidyar Network in partnership with Monitor Group makes interesting reading and warrants comment.

The report, titled Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa: Understanding Africa’s Challenges to Creating Opportunity-driven Entrepreneurship, surveyed entrepreneurs in six sub-Saharan countries, the results of which were then benchmarked against 19 global peers.

The survey focussed on four critical aspects of entrepreneurial environments:

–          Entrepreneurship assets (financing, skills and talents, and infrastructure)

–          Business support (government programmes and incubation)

–          Policy accelerators (legislation and administrative burdens)

–          Motivations and mindset (legitimacy, attitudes, and culture)

In South Africa, 75% of respondents do not believe that schools devote enough time to teaching entrepreneurship in schools.  As such, there are limited opportunities for learners to experience hands on learning in the field of business and entrepreneurship so necessary to foster and develop the practical thinking and problem solving skills essential when embarking on an entrepreneurial career.

Yet the education department has disappointingly excluded Economic and Management Sciences from the primary school curriculum, with the exception of Grade 7. This is not good for a country so desperately in need of new and sustainable businesses to not only grow our economy but address the extremely high levels of unemployment.

But what an opportunity for an organisation such as Junior Achievement which has actively worked in the school environment for over 33 years, providing exactly the kind of programmes recommended by this research – recommendations including entrepreneurial and vocational training being integrated into the education system, career guidance counselling that encourages entrepreneurship as a career, and the celebration of successful entrepreneurs to encourage those just starting out.

This is exactly what Junior Achievement is about. We fill a critical need in the education space where we run practical, hands on entrepreneurship education programmes, nationwide, during the course of which learners start up and run a REAL business. Market research is conducted, a product selected, money changes hands and is recorded and managed accordingly and profits are shared.

And participants may struggle with business risks, team conflicts, product and sales challenges, disappointing sales, and low profits. BUT they all learn the essential skills to move onto an entrepreneurial career upon leaving school with a can do and positive attitude.

And many of them do. Take Nthuthuko Shezi, who runs a successful 24 hour mobile panel beating business based conveniently at OR Tambo International Airport; Keagile Makgoba who offers services and catering to parties; Takura Mutemasango who runs youth empowerment programmes while managing her own handbag designing business; and Zaza Motha who launched a self-empowerment movement for young woman.

Through Junior Achievement Programmes, in 2012, over 2 000 high school learners across the country experienced the realities of starting up a small business.  We reached over 14 500 primary school learners with our financial literacy and environmental entrepreneurship programmes.  Although we are pleased with our reach, representing an increase from 2011 of 87%, we are not even reaching 1% of school learners. To achieve this, we need the support of the department of education and funding from all sectors – government, corporates and foundations. It is in the interests of all us in the country to ensure that young people develop the skills needed to actively and productively participate in the economy.

Our success in the school environment has lead us into the out of school youth unemployed sector with an action learning, incubator style programme for small groups of young, unemployed BUT enthusiastic and motivated individuals. With funding from Absa, we have launched 5 programmes in Gauteng alone, reaching over 170 unemployed youth to date, with more programmes planned for launch over the year. In 2012, we ran a number of these programmes in Cape Town with great success. It is indeed very gratifying to witness a student who, in his own words, has never completed anything before in his life, attending every programme session, and launching his own successful business offering a delivery service to take away food outlets.

The research also shows that although attitudes towards entrepreneurship as a viable and aspirational career are changing, only 44% of South African respondents agree that “most people consider becoming an entrepreneur a desirable career choice”, and only 47% agree that those who have started new businesses have a higher level of respect than a manager in a corporate. To address this relatively low level of respect, the research recommends programmes and media initiatives that honour the journeys of successful entrepreneurs and encourage those who have failed to try again.

So let’s celebrate our successes, ever mindful of the growing need, while grasping every opportunity we have to develop and grow young entrepreneurs. Join us in our work and see the massive impact we can have in developing entrepreneurial thinking in the young people of South Africa.

MONEY MATTERS: Teach them young and avoid hard lessons later

*This article was first published in Sunday Times: Money & Careers

Apr 7, 2013 | Warren Ingram

Your offspring would do well to fear credit cards and personal loans
CHILDREN who grow up understanding money will have a real advantage in life – and the sooner parents start teaching their offspring about this vital part of modern living the better. Our values in terms of money are formed at an early age, so it is important for the lessons of good money habits to start from the moment children can speak. It will be almost impossible for them to change these habits when they are parents themselves. These are the principal points you need to drum home:

What you need vs what you want

We need to help children understand that their financial resources will always be limited. Often, parents try to give their children everything they want, especially sought-after items such as smartphones.

Use your children’s demands for these items as an opportunity for a money lesson. If they want a smartphone, help them to work out how to earn and save enough money to get one, rather than simply buying one for them. This should include doing extra chores at home to earn additional money, which establishes the principle that extra work leads to more money.

You could also help them to open a savings account in which their money can earn interest until they have sufficient funds to buy the phone they want.

You might even teach children how to start a small business to earn money to buy the things they want. The lessons involved in this sort of project are numerous – marketing, negotiating prices, scheduling workloads and determining what resources are required.

Budgeting basics

Don’t shield children from the real cost of food, clothing and luxuries, because they will need to understand these costs when they live on their own. You could start to involve them in your budgeting decisions by, for example, telling them what the family spends every month and how this relates to the family income.

Teaching your children how to budget is nearly as important as teaching them to read. It should be second nature by the time they leave school.

But try to impart knowledge about money without burdening your children with guilt.

When times are tough, use the situation as an opportunity to explain how the family will adapt and, more importantly, how to develop a plan to work yourselves out of your situation.

Investing for the future

By the time your child is in high school, you should be discussing how their savings should be invested. Few young adults know anything about investing. They might have heard of concepts such as unit trusts and shares, but they have limited understanding of what these are.

Take the time to explain these concepts to your children and start investing some of their money in a unit trust or exchange-traded fund, such as Satrix, to teach them real-life lessons about investing.

Teach them to fear debt

One of the most important lessons about money will be how they manage – and preferably avoid – debt. Try to raise children who have a fear of credit cards and loans.

The one factor that most often leads to financial success is the ability to save and avoid debt. Few people manage to do this, which is why so few people are able to retire comfortably.

Consistent discipline

Your children need to learn that financial success is achieved by consistently spending less than they earn. Achieving a balance between instant gratification and long-term discipline is critical. If your children have this discipline by the time they leave home, you will have given them a head start in life.

Warren Ingram is a certified financial planner and wealth manager who has been advising people about their investments since 1996. He is a director of Galileo Capital