Category Archives: Events

JA South Africa’s Largest Certification Ceremony Yet, Takes Place in Mamelodi, Pretoria

one of the graduates at the Mamelodi Out Of School Programme hires graduation attire for her own account - she is that proud!

A proud graduate of the JA South Africa ITS TYME Programme

Friday, 5 May 2015 saw the graduation of an impressive 100 young people from the JA South Africa Out of School ITS TYME. The programme, funded by Barclays, is a 20-session incubator style programme for out of school unemployed youth between the ages of 18 – 35 and is facilitated over three months. What is unique about the JA South Africa programme is the fact that students are required to start up and run a sustainable business during the programme. The programme includes site visits, case studies, guest speakers, and an introduction to micro finance as well as mentorship and support for a period after completion of the formally structured programme.

In Mamelodi, the programme was offered at Entokozweni Youth Development Centre and Stanza Bopape Skills Centre. Mamelodi, has an unofficial population of close to one million people ( Moller (2008:16) indicates that the unemployment rate in Mamelodi is 63.6 per cent. So it was a fitting experience for the learners, who had never ventured into business before, to make substantial profit that will be paid to learners as dividends. “Its great to see the learners realise what they are able to achieve through the programme and especially when they are sharing the dividends at the end of the programme.” Says facilitator on the programme, Power Masemola.


Keynote speaker, Preston Sihlangu hands out certificates to learners

This is exactly why the now-resident of Pretoria, Preston Sihlangu musician and owner of a production company called Red Capet Music used the opportunity as keynote speaker at the certification ceremony to inspire the graduates of the programme; “Now that you have the business acumen necessary to make wise decisions, invest in your business and make mature decisions. The country needs a different kind of role model than what is currently available to the youth!” he went on to say to the 150-strong audience that gathered in celebration of this milestone.

“There is so much unemployment in Mamelodi and we need inspiration to continue to find alternative income. The JA South Africa programme is much needed and appreciated in Mamelodi” Godfrey Tswai, graduate of the programme was quoted as saying.

 This programme was launched in 2012 and by end of 2015 JA South Africa will have run 65 such programmes that will reach an impressive total of 1534 out of school youth now having the skills to begin their own businesses and have the potential to become possibility seekers and creators of opportunities.

Other speakers on the day included representatives from University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi campus, NYDA and SEDA. Siya Mapoko, author of the book; The Best Advise I Ever Got generously donated a book to each of the learners. Together with a USB containing brochures and contact details of entrepreneurship incubator programmes, we are confident these learners will be successful in their future ventures.


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.”



JA Africa 2014 Strategic Retreat

During the month of July various Junior Achievement (JA) Africa stakeholders converged in Johannesburg, South Africa for the JA Africa 2014 Strategic Planning Retreat. Those attending the retreat included the JA Worldwide CEO and President, Mr Sean Rush, members of the JA Africa Regional Board and Regional Operating Centre, including the President, Dr Chinwe Effiong, and JA Executive Directors from Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as six of their respective Board Chair’s.

JA Worldwide is a global network of 123 countries, 17 of which are in sub Saharan Africa and form the JA Africa Region. JA Worldwide reached 10 230 680 students in 2013 across six continents, with 200 355 of those from Africa. Given the bulging youth population in Africa and high levels of youth unemployment across the continent, this number is just a fraction of those in need of the enterprise and life skills offered by Junior Achievement.

It is for this reason that JA staff and Board members gathered together in Johannesburg last month to determine how best to expand the reach and impact of JA programmes across the sub-continent. The team deliberated on a range of topics including reviewing the overall performance of the JA Africa region and it various member nations, determining how best to strengthen JA’s presence and programmes in Africa and exploring opportunities for expansion into other countries.

JA Africa’s regional priorities, as set out by the JA Africa Regional Operating Centre, are as follows:

  1. Promoting enterprise and employability of young people
  2. Building meaningful public and private partnerships
  3. Expanding alternative programme delivery methods both in and out of school
  4. Effectively engaging JA Africa alumni as programme facilitators while building their capacity as successful entrepreneurs

The two day retreat included three separate meetings (kindly hosted by Citi South Africa):

  1. The quarterly JA Africa Regional Board meeting;
  2. The Executive Directors meeting and
  3. The Regional Advisory Board Meeting (Consisting of Country Board Chair’s and resulting in the Launch of the Country Board Chairs [CBC] Forum)

The Country Board Chair’s Forum is a key new initiative which will meet once per annum in rotating JA Member Countries. This initiative is being driven by the Board Chair of JA South Africa, and was launched in response to the need to strengthen the governance and leadership roles of the various country Boards in Africa. Ms Dolly Mokgatle will chair the Forum for the first two years. The next Forum will be hosted by JA Nigeria.

As Dr Chinwe Effiong, President of JA Africa noted, Africa is endowed with an abundance of resources, the most important being its human resources. However, these resources need to be developed, at all levels, from early childhood onward. JA is well positioned to assist governments and corporations to nurture the next generation of professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders. However, this can only be accomplished through strategic collaboration and partnerships with internal and external stakeholders.   It is therefore very timely that the Country Board Chair Forum is being launched!

The day culminated in a gala dinner, hosted by JA South Africa, at the historic Women’s Gaol at Constitution Hill, where delegates and other guests had an opportunity to interact and share their JA experiences with one another. The evening included informative talks from JA South Africa Board Chair, Ms Dolly Mokgatle, Patron Ms Wendy Luhabe and Alumnus, Ms Takura Mutemasago, as well as an enlightening discussion on entrepreneurship in South Africa by Dr Taddy Blecher.

JA South Africa Patron Ms Wendy Luhabe with JA Africa President Dr Chinwe Effiong

JA South Africa Patron Ms Wendy Luhabe with JA Africa President Dr Chinwe Effiong

The two-day retreat concluded with site visits to JA South Africa programmes in Thokoza and Kempton Park respectively. During the site visits, guests were encouraged to provide the programme participants with advice and guidance on their small businesses.

On behalf of JA South Africa and the other member nations, Ms Linda McClure, JASA Managing Director, expressed her deep gratitude to all sponsors for this event, namely Citi South Africa, Investec, the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, Vantage Capital and the JA Africa Regional Operating Centre. Without such support the opportunity to meet, share and plan would be impossible,” Linda further highlighted the fact that, “Spending time with fellow Country Directors not only allows us to share best practice across the region but re-inspires and motivates us all to continue the critical role we all play across the continent in driving an entrepreneurial culture among our youth!”

Junior Achievement South Africa Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013

During one week each November, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors—introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities. This year, Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) will be helping to inspire possible entrepreneurs with a range of events designed to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship in South Africa.

The launch of JASA’s GEW efforts took place on 18th November 2013 and brought together Junior Achievement stakeholders and other organisations dedicated to increasing entrepreneurship in South Africa.  The event, hosted by Carol Ralefeta, a successful entrepreneur in her own right, highlighted several of Junior Achievements up-and-coming alumni, allowing them to share their entrepreneurial journey and how their Junior Achievement experience made it possible.Fulu Comp

One such JASA alumnus is Keagile Makgoba, a final year BA Communications Honours student at the University of Johannesburg.  Keagile completed her JASA Mini Enterprise Programme (MEP) in 2008 when she was in Grade 11 at McAuley House.  Her mini-company sold party packs as part of their JASA programme; this inspired her to start selling sweets and chocolates at school for extra money.  It was from here that the concept for her business, Playtime Parties; was born.  Playtime Parties is a party planning business Keagile started when she was in university, and the business has organised many children’s parties since it’s inception.  Keagile runs her business whilst studying for her Honours degree and completing her internship at Multichoice.

The GEW launch event featured many other successful JASA alumni like Keagile, connecting them to various other stakeholders in the entrepreneurial field and stimulating conversation around entrepreneurship.  To maximise the conversation around entrepreneurship and to ensure that people from far and wide were able to engage with people at the event, guests were encouraged to utilise social media in their entrepreneurial conversations, using the #GEW2013 hash tag.

The event was held at the Protea Hotel Fire and Ice in Melrose Arch and all venue hire fees were generously sponsored by the hotel.  Johannesburg Theatre and Original Iced both sponsored prizes for a speed networking session that took part during the evening.

“Junior Achievement South Africa is passionate about creating young entrepreneurs in South Africa. We have been working in the field of entrepreneurial education for 33 years so it was only logical that we join forces with GEW.  This is the best way to create awareness around entrepreneurship and its importance in countries like South Africa. By joining the entrepreneurial conversation and encouraging other South Africans to engage we are able to reach many more people during the week,” said Joanne Bender, National Programmes Manager of Junior Achievement South Africa.

Last year 7 906 partners from 131 countries participated in Global Entrepreneurship Week by arranging 19 649 activities for 7 491 695 people interested in entrepreneurship,  ensuring that the initiative remains the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators, who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.  JASA, as a member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, one of the world’s biggest youth entrepreneurship development organisations, is committed to inspiring young South Africans and helping them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.  This year Junior Achievement South Africa is proud to be an active partner of Global Entrepreneurship Week!

Wordpress GEW 2013 Pic