Category Archives: Competitions

End of year highlights

Entrepreneurship is the Winner in the 2014 Junior Innovators Competition

One of the highlights of the Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) year is the Junior Innovators competition hosted by Investec – and this year’s event proved to be no exception, with 45 learners in Grades 10, 11 and 12 putting their entrepreneurial ideas to the test in the final round of the competition.

Kate Kekane,  Tsakane Sono and Sesethu Mngcina—top award winners in the 2014 Junior Innovators competition

Kate Kekane, Tsakane Sono and Sesethu Mngcina—top award winners in the 2014 Junior Innovators competition

The 45 finalists were among the hundreds of high school learners nationwide who participated in JASA’s Mini Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Academy programmes, during which learners nurtured the skills needed to launch and manage their own small businesses.

During the final week of the school-based programmes, JA South Africa alumni were on hand to mentor the finalists, to help them refine their business ideas and give them insights into microeconomics, business ethics and the practical details of being an entrepreneur. The finalists then participated in a four-day workshop at Investec’s offices in Sandton, giving them exposure to a dynamic work environment and providing further mentorship to help them finesse their business ideas.

Tsakane Sono, a Grade 11 learner from McAuley House in Gauteng walked away with the coveted 2014 Junior Innovator title for her ‘Heating Kettle Bottle’ idea and was awarded a R60 000 bursary towards her tertiary studies at a university of her choice. She plans to study a business-related degree when she finishes Grade 12, and wants to see her business proposal become a reality.

JASA’s partnership with Investec has run for three years and is a wonderful example of how a big corporate can make a meaningful difference in the lives of young South Africans. Its practical nature shows South Africa’s youth that they can be job creators too – they can be so much more than job seekers.

Karabo Denalane, Dudu Nchoba and Sthembiso Tshabalala Join the JA South Africa Board

We’re excited to announce that the JA South Africa Board has welcomed three new Board members.

Karabo Denalane, Dudu Nchoba and Sthembiso Tshabalala have agreed to offer their wisdom, experience and insights to the organisation as we grow and diversify.

Karabo is Managing Director of McCann Johannesburg, and has worked at other heavyweight advertising agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather, Grey South Africa and FCB Lindsay Smithers, as well as launching his own agency, In-Continuum Communications Concepts in 2003. He also worked client-side for Cell C during its launch years.

Karabo brings a wealth of advertising, marketing and branding experience to the Board, along with his creativity and passion for entrepreneurship.

Dudu is Chief Director of Marketing at the Department of Arts and Culture and has held positions such as Campaigns Manager for the 2010 FIFA World Cup local organising committee, Communications Manager for Tiger Brands, Executive Manager of Marketing for the Morula Casino and Hotel at Sun International, and Campaigns Manager at Standard Bank.

Her experience on international campaigns as well as her insights gained from launching her own communications consultancy sees her well equipped to play a guiding role in JASA into the future.

Sthembiso is a JA South Africa alumni, and is currently employed as a senior audit trainee at Deloitte & Touche. We’re looking forward to have the insights of his experience with the JA South Africa programmes on the Board, as well as his insights from his current role in one of the world’s largest auditing firms.

We welcome Karabo, Dudu and Sthembiso, and look forward to working with them as we expand JA South Africa’s footprint.

Young Entrepreneurs Give Back to their Community

The Vini Club Company from JM Ntsime Secondary School in the North West Province wanted to give back to their community after they completed their Entrepreneurship Academy Programme, and enlisted the help of local JA South Africa agent Zipporah Segabetla to do so.

IMG_2258IMG_2261The team had beads left over from the business that it launched and managed as part of the programme, and made items of jewellery that they gave to people in their community. They then turned to their fellow learners at the school, asking each one to donate just 50 cents to their cause. The Vini Club Company members then doubled the total donations from their friends from their business’s profits by adding money from their own pockets.

They used the money to buy cleaning materials and seeds, and headed to the St Catharina Hospice, home to 15 elderly adults and three children, where they spent a day cleaning floors, walls and windows, and washing and ironing linen. They also designed and planted a flower and vegetable garden.

“We are so proud of the learners for undertaking this initiative. It shows that they truly understand how successful entrepreneurs can make all kinds of difference in their communities, whether it’s by creating jobs or by helping to take care of people who are unable to look after themselves,” Zipporah says.

The Digital Mini-Enterprise Programme Goes Live!

JA South Africa has been working on creating a digital version of the Mini Enterprise Programme for some time and we were delighted to have launched it on 6 October 2014 at the Allanridge Secondary School in Gauteng, in one of seven such pilot programmes across the country.

Bonga Khumalo from JA South Africa introduced the digital programme to 42 enthusiastic Grade 10 learners during the recent school holidays. Each learner was given a tablet computer for the day, loaded with the course material.

Once the students were familiarised with the tablets and material, they were comfortable to carry on working with the programme independently until 2 November. Once the pilot phase is complete in November, Bonga and the JA South Africa team will evaluate whether the digital version of the programme can be used in urban and rural areas, and whether the programme can be introduced nationwide.

“When we worked with the learners during the holidays, we saw that they found the digital programme interesting, exciting and that is easier to find information,” says Bonga.

“The programme is very interactive and the learners found it easier to complete assignments before moving to the next level. The facilitators also value the digital programme, because they no longer have to carry a lot of course material around with them on public transport, when they travel from school to school.”

The digital Mini Enterprise Programme makes it easier for learners to work through the course outcomes, which include conducting a needs analysis ahead of initiating a new business, conducting market research and analysis, determining a break-even point, leadership and working as a team towards a common goal, and business planning and strategy.

‘Moving Ideas’ Gets Rolling

One of our exciting collaborations during 2014 has been the Moving Ideas competition, a joint collaboration between JA South Africa, Transnet and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

Transnet and the SABS sponsored five 20-session Entrepreneurship Academy Programmes – two in East London, one in De Aar, one in Rustenburg, and one in Qwa Qwa. The five most promising learners from each programme were named the finalists, and brought to Pretoria for an all-expenses-paid innovation experience at the SABS Design Institute.

JA South Africa facilitators visited each school to prepare the learners for this experience, polishing their design and innovation skills. Many learners had never travelled beyond their home towns or flown in an aeroplane, making this a particularly exciting adventure for them.

2014-10-10 12.34.36The programme in Pretoria included theory and practical sessions, reviewing case studies, and outings to inspiring venues like the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg. The learners presented their fine-tuned business cases to a panel on the final morning of their trip, leaving the experience enriched and inspired. The three winners each received a tablet with design software already installed.

“The learners thoroughly enjoyed the whole interaction. It exposed them to life experiences that they would otherwise never have had access to,” says Joanne Bender, National Programmes Manager at JA South Africa, who was present for the workshops.

“There were many valuable results from the programme and we’re confident that the learners are going to take their learnings and achievements from the programme to become leaders in business and their communities.”

The 2014 Moving Ideas competition is the first in a five-year partnership that includes entrepreneurship programmes for school learners, young adults, and SMMEs with a stated intent of stimulating job creation and employment in South Africa.

Leigh-Ann Lock Takes JA South Africa Skills to Plot Her Career


Leigh-Ann Loch, who matriculated at Glenvista High School in Gauteng at the end of 2013, participated in the Mini Enterprise programme in 2012, while in Grade 11.

She was part of a 15-person team/business called Legends Pty Ltd, which sold Boho bags and handmade charm bracelets, and she fulfilled the role of HR Manager.

“I learned that team work is key to running a business, and that you need to trust your team completely to be a success,” says Leigh-Ann. “Starting a business is a huge risk in so many ways, but it is a good thing that builds character.”
The programme also helped Leigh-Ann decide on her career path. She had planned to study HR or Law when she left school, but her experiences of HR during the programme made her realise that this avenue was not for her. She is currently working on an undergraduate degree at the University of Johannesburg, after which she hopes to complete her LLB and Masters degrees, with a long-term goal of opening her own law firm, specialising in family law.

“Before I took part in the programme, I didn’t really work well in teams and I was a perfectionist, getting very frustrated when people working with me didn’t do things the way I wanted them to,” she says.

“The programme taught me to share responsibility and to allow everyone in the team around me to contribute ideas. I also learned valuable communications skills, and how to manage people. I’m really glad that I did the programme as it has taught me such important skills for life and for business.”




Sandtonview Combined School Wins the SA Social Innovation Relay Again!

Junior Achievement South Africa learners have been competing in the Social Innovation Relay for four years and this is the second time a team from Sandtonview Combined School have walked away with the national title.   This year more than 1 000 learners from 10 schools in Gauteng competed between February and June.

The Social Innovation Relay is an annual global competition, funded by HP. During the competition learners participate in an innovation workshop, where they are taught about social innovation, after which in teams of three or four they conceptualise a business that would uplift their immediate communities. This year, more than 2,000 teams from 18 countries, supported by nearly 400 HP volunteers, submitted papers and presented their business concepts. Teams from each country compete at national finals, and these winning teams then compete against each other in the online global finals.

100 ideas were uploaded to the Social Innovation Relay website and the best 20 ideas were selected by Nosipho Malotana, an experienced Junior Achievement South Africa facilitator. During the July school holidays, these teams all gathered at HP South Africa’s head office in Rivonia, Johannesburg, and over three days, each team was required to develop their concepts into comprehensive presentations with the assistance of dedicated HP volunteer mentors, who spent many hours with their teams, ensuring they were ready to participate in the SIR national final. The finals were held at HP’s Johannesburg offices on 3rd July 2014, where the top ten teams were required to present their developed concepts to a panel of esteemed HP judges. Teams from Allanridge, Makgetse, McAuley House and Sandtonview High Schools were represented in these finals. The judges scored the teams on content, innovation and creativity, social impact, and the global scalability and feasibility of the concept.

The winning team, Re(D)y from Sandtonview Combined School, identified the current textbook shortages and low accessibility to technology South African learners face, as a serious problem facing their community and South Africans as a whole. Their solution, the Table Tablet, a large tablet computer installed into a school desk, could be used instead of textbooks.  Teachers would be able to upload lessons, homework and study guides to the tablet.  Learners would access the table tablets using their LET cards, which would allow learners to access their information from any pc or tablet, meaning that their school work is available anywhere.  The main aim of the table tablet is to make information more accessible to the youth.

On 8th July, Team Re(D)y participated in the global finals of the competition, and presented their concept online to a global panel of judges. Team Malre from Kenya walked away as winners for their innovative solution to combat malaria. Team Re(D)y performed well and gained valuable experience in social innovation and presentation skills.

SIR Winners 2014


JASA to win in Sunshine Tour Media Challenge

The 2013 Sunshine Tour Media Challenge will be hosted at The Els Club Copperleaf for the third year on Monday 14 October. 40 members of the media will take on 40 Sunshine Tour professionals at match play with the R5 000 at stake in each match going to charity.

In addition, the media and professionals will be competing for the Khan-Winter trophy. This trophy is named after two of South Africa’s veteran golf writers Iqbal Khan of the Daily News, KwaZulu-Natal, and Grant Winter of the Star, Johannesburg.

The R200 000 stake in the Sunshine Tour Media Challenge has been sponsored by Investec. If a match is won by the member of the media, the R5 000 will go to the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) Maths and English Programme. In partnership with the Department of Basic Education, the programme aims to develop high quality teachers of Mathematics, Science and English through a school-based training model located in ISASA schools. In the end, the goal is to broaden the pool of quality teachers.

If a match is won by a Sunshine Tour professional, the R5 000 will go to Junior Achievement South Africa. JASA is a nationwide, non-profit organisation that offers experiential entrepreneurial business, financial literacy and workplace readiness programmes for young people. JASA is a member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, one of the largest business education organisations in the world, operating in over 120 countries globally, including 17 in Africa.

The Sunshine Tour Media Challenge started in 2011, and the professionals won 45 of the 50 matches. Things were a bit closer last year, when the professionals pulled off a closer victory, this time by 32.5 matches to 17.5.

The professionals will have to play the four par-fives on the tough Els Club Copperleaf layout as par-fours, which means the amateurs will have their handicaps as well as four more strokes at their disposal.

Investec's Setlogani Manchidi showing off the Sunshine Tour Media Challenge Trophy

Investec’s Setlogani Manchidi showing off the Sunshine Tour Media Challenge Trophy

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)

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.

Innovators Youth Win the 2013 HP Social Innovation Relay

Junior Achievement recently announced the winner of the 3rd Annual Social Innovation Relay, a global competition organized in collaboration with HP that challenges secondary school learners to develop an innovative business concept that addresses a social need. Innovators Youth from India won the competition. Under the guidance and support of an HP e-mentor from Singapore, the team developed a revolutionary building material, made out of rice husk boards. The team will buy rice husk from farmers and create a building material, which they called “Green Wood”.

The winners will be joining the JA-YE Europe 10th Alumni Conference in Tallinn, Estonia in August 2013.

Access to technology is crucial to enable learners to be successful in the labor market of the 21st century. Globally, a large number of learners do not have this access which puts them at risk for unemployment even before they have entered the labor market. The Social Innovation Relay seeks to close this gap by bringing innovative technology and hands-on educational programs to schools, equipping learners with technological and entrepreneurial skills to succeed in school and beyond.

The Social Innovation Relay provides young people with the hands-on skills and entrepreneurial expertise needed to start a successful career through a combination of virtual and face-to-face mentoring by experienced executives. The participating teams are paired with mentors who are all HP employees and who connect with the finalists to help them develop concept papers that can translate in feasible business ideas.

“The quality and increasing number of innovative, socially orientated business ideas reflects a successful collaboration with HP mentors and our partner Junior Achievement. The Social Innovation Relay is part of HP’s commitment to apply our expertise and technology to enable learners to develop IT and business skills and solve societal issues, leading to a future with many more bright social minded entrepreneurs. ”  Jeannette Weisschuh, director, Global Education Programs, Sustainability and Social Innovation, HP

The Social Innovation Relay was first launched in 2010, and over the past three years more than 67,000 students and 800 HP mentors from 19 countries have participated, submitting their socially innovative concepts. This year, nearly 1,600 teams around the world registered for the relay showcasing an ever increasing interest in the initiative around the world.

In South Africa more than 750 learners participated in this year’s relay, with 75 teams registering their ideas on the Social Innovation Relay website.

The team ANTS representing Eqinisweni Secondary School in Thembisa, won the national competition with their innovative Joy Swing concept – a playground that generates kinetic energy to power houses in non-electrified areas. The team continued to develop their idea, and competed against 18 other national winning teams in July in the global online final.

The ANTS worked hard to develop a video and refine their Powerpoint presentation in less than a week and Junior Achievement is extremely proud of how hard the team worked together.


The 2013 HP Social Innovation Relay is on the Go!

Earlier this year Hewlett Packard (HP) and Junior Achievement – Young Enterprise Europe (JA-YE Europe) launched the third annual Social Innovation Relay, an enterprise education programme to encourage young people around the world to become social innovators.

The first phase of the programme took place between February and April this year and Bonga Khumalo, National Programme Co-ordinator  from Junior Achievement South Africa, educated over 750 learners on the advantages of social innovation, as well as how to identify business opportunities with a social innovation focus.  Learners between the ages of 15 and 18 at Alberton High, Allanridge Secondary, Dawnview High, Eqinisweni High, Makgetse High, Ponelopele Oracle Secondary, Sandtonview Combined and Tlakula High Schools in Gauteng as well as The Beacon High School in the Free State participated in the workshops.

The learners were then divided into teams of three to five learners. After completing a multiple choice quiz about social innovation, each team was asked to formulate a 300 word initial idea explaining their social innovation and the societal challenge is addresses. 75 South African teams uploaded initial ideas and these ideas were then narrowed down to the top 20 by a panel of JASA judges.  The top 20 teams then received further mentoring from Bonga, as they were required to develop their initial ideas into a complete concept paper, explaining what makes their idea innovative, the impact they’d like to achieve and how feasible their idea is.  The concept papers were then judged by a panel of HP judges who narrowed them down to the top 10.

The top ten teams will now receive mentoring from HP staff at HP’s head office in Rivonia from 24 – 27 June 2013.  The HP mentors will assist the teams in developing their concepts into 5 minute presentations and the teams will need to be fully versed about their concepts to be able to stand up to the judges grilling during the national final.  The winners of the national final will each receive an HP product and the team will represent South Africa in the global final in July.  Last year a team from Sandtonview Combined School in Johannesburg walked away with the global title for their recycled solar lamp concept. “This year’s ideas are even more innovative than previous years and I believe we stand a good chance of winning the title again this year,” noted Joanne Bender, National Programmes Manager for Junior Achievement South Africa.