Category Archives: Programmes

From Unemployed Mother to an Investor in Small Community-based Business The Journey of JA South Africa ITS TYME Graduate, Dibuseng Phaloane

DibusengBeing unemployed in South Africa is a reality I know all too well. But this reality did not sit well with me. I am a mother of two and a mother who wants more for her children than I was exposed to, so being unemployed for three years made me realise I do not want to be a statistic in this battle. Insanity is said to be the result of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result so I finally had to admit that the futile hunt for a job was over but was not sure what was next? How will I put food on my family’s table? Enter JA South Africa and their offer to provide experiential entrepreneurial skills training.

Dibuseng Phaloane (30) is a recent graduate of the Absa-funded ITS TYME Programme offered during 2015 in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg.

I was a subsistence entrepreneur before joining the ITS TYME Programme – for me to survive, I started selling polony hampers in my community. I provided 41 different hamper options and this kind of variety set me apart resulting in my ability to make 100% profit (purchase price of R70 and selling price of R140). The revenue enabled me to send my 10 year old to a private school in Orange Farm (which caters to her learning needs) and costs R12,000 p.a. excluding transport of R300 per month. But often I was unable to make the monthly commitments to school fees let alone living expenses and I was constantly stressed out by the possibility that my child will be suspended from school. And then in an attempt to expand my business’ reach, I walked to the opposite end of Orange Farm marketing my meat business along the way. This is when I met Jabulani Dlamini at the Orange Farm Skills Centre. He was scheduled to attend the programme and was an advocate for the programme – introducing it to other out-of-work out-of school-youth in Orange Farm and he introduced me to the ITS TYME programme. I am a true believer in fate!

A few weeks into the JA South Africa programme I learned there are alterative ways to grow my business and I increased my product range even further – I began selling rainbow chicken hampers as well. Later, I saw the opportunity to take the same products and open my own store where, in addition to the raw meat products, I sold fast food using my own stock and the profit margins grew exponentially. This decision came off the back of a market research exercise I was encouraged to do on the programme. Now I was able to support my family’s needs as well as purchase equipment for my business. I bought a deep fryer and a fridge and at end of this month (August) I will buy a bigger deep fryer (priced at R3,000) to address the needs of my growing business. My profits have now grown from about R3,000 to about R5,000 – R6,000 per month.

The entrepreneurial bug has now bit. I’ve recently been exposed to an opportunity to sell furniture. My boyfriend, who was an unemployed carpenter, presented his business case to me and since I am not strong in financial acumen, I consulted a fellow student on the ITS TYME programme for guidance on this decision. After an assessment of the business case against my cash flow and savings, I am now able to provide my boyfriend with seed funding of R5,000 into his business based on profits from my food business.
My fellow student on the programme commended me on my business systems when he assisted me with the decision to invest in my boyfriend’s business. During the programme I learned how to record daily, weekly and monthly sales in a more effective manner. So now, at the drop of a hat, I am aware of my business’ financial health. I also realise that I don’t have to do everything in the business and am creating joint ventures with other small business owners – especially those I met on the ITS TYME programme – to support me in areas of business management where I am not strong.

A report from Dibeseng after visiting Alexandra during site visits on the ITS TYME Programme:

“Its business as usual on the streets of Alexandra. Manic doesn’t even begin to describe the scene as cars toot their Hooters while blasting every sound imaginable. The taxi driver dodged his way through the traffic. Our destination was Alexandra, well known for producing prominent, respected entrepreneurs and top politicians. I was amazed by the area itself. There is no space in Alexandra for anything. How can one run a business in such a congested place but JASA creates a culture of entrepreneurship but how possible is it here. I knew that it was important for me to be part of the field trip but I never thought that will change one factor which I thought was an obstacle for me to open my own business. An office, business space for me it could make or break my business. We visited different businesses that had 1 common thing, they are operated against all odds. I found it very amusing and amazing that Tumi the shoe polisher and Valentino the restaurant owner established their businesses in Alex. Vali’s restaurant is on top of a house, there is no space but Valentino managed to run a resurant,bar and clothes shop in one congested area. He used what he could get hold of to build his empire and yes he survives. I’m also very afraid of rats even when they are dead but Tumi managed to run a successful shoe polishing business here. If it was me I was going to observe disadvantages, risks and failure of the business in a place like Alex where rats use rocks to sharpen their teeth. I realised that for one to be an entrepreneur, it starts within,passion,determination and vision may lead me to be a successful business woman. Like Lorenzo, he worked very smart to be where he is today. Due to his hard work he managed to create jobs for more than 100 people. He is a mentor to his fellow employees and partners. I want to achieve, its important that I stop looking for short cuts but use what I have to build a well known respected undertaker company that will create employment for residents of orange farm. I truly treasure what JASA taught me. With the skills I obtained I will be able to conduct myself in a proper manner that will assist me to run a profitable business. Slowly but surely I am going there”
By Dibuseng Phaloane:


Melvin van der Westhuizen
Most Improved Learner 2014
Investec-Funded Enterprise Programme
Kimberley, Northern Cape

Shinaaz Poemedie, facilitator at Pescodia High School in Roodepan shares with us the inspirational story of growth and maturity of Melvin van der Westhuizen.

He walked into the first session with a limp, pants hanging low and a look on his face that I’ve come to recognise among the young men in Roodepan, Kimberley. “Here comes trouble!” was my first impression of Melvin. But boy, was I wrong. At first, he was talkative and disruptive in class. I now know that he was trying to enforce his place as leader on the programme. However, this soon backfired when he was not chosen for any of the positions in their mini business despite self-nominating for many. I’ve been a facilitator for 12 years now and I’ve never seen anybody mature so much in such a short space of time.

Best Improved learner

Shinaaz awards Melvin the Most Improved Learner Award at the end of the Investec-funded 20-week Academy which he attended in 2014

“I realised that because I want to become a teacher, like Shinaaz who inspires people to live their potential and to make as much money as we did on the programme, I needed to pull up my socks. That’s when I decided to learn as much as I could on the JASA programme. I learned what the word discipline means and I wanted to let the others see this too so I started arriving early for JASA classes, stayed positive and helped out in any way I could. I enjoyed getting compliments from the others and assisting the General Manager of our business.”

When she realised what a role model Melvin had become, JA South Africa’s Northern Cape agent, Mercedes Fredericks invited him to earn some extra cash as a co-facilitator on her programmes. In this role, Melvin attends recruitment drives to help motivate potential new learners, assists Mercedes as a class aide and is often seen to be motivating learners to join JA South Africa programmes.

Good luck as your prepare for your exams, Melvin! We look forward to following your journey to becoming a great teacher!

HSBC Funds JA South Africa for a Seventh Consecutive Year to Inspire and Educate Youth in Schools

HSBC has, for the seventh consecutive year partnered with Junior Achievement South Africa to support the in-school facilitation of the More Than Money programme in primary schools. In addition to the financial HSBC T-Shirtpartnership, HSBC employee volunteers are trained at the commencement of the programme to facilitate a guide learners through the  More Than Money community and business game. The volunteers, armed with an understanding of the principles of the board game visit schools with the likes of; Sandtonview School, Abdullah Bin Salaam Islamic School, Bonwelong Primary and Dr Knak Primary School where they facilitate classroom sessions with grade 5-7 learners using the board game to teach principles of earning, spending, sharing, and saving money.

The programme emphasises social studies content while providing a strong focus on mathematics, reading, and writing skills. The More than Money experience enhances learners’ classroom curriculum. Learners are encouraged to use innovative thinking to learn money-management skills that support positive attitudes towards money.

HSBC Volunteer


Through a variety of hands-on activities, learners develop a better understanding of the relationship between what they learn at school and their successful participation in a worldwide economy.

Annually an independent assessment of the programme is conducted. In South Africa, learners understanding of money management is improved substantially. Also, they are now deem entrepreneurship as a viable career path and are seen to be more committed to school.



#OpportunityMaker takes Orange Farm to Greener Pastures

“I’ve always been a Greenie Beanie (known colloquially as someone who is environmentally conscious) so it frustrated me when the illegal dumping site in Orange Farm, where I live, was growing out of controlFullSizeRenderOF. Illegal dumping is widespread in most townships but so is the lack of productive space for things like playgrounds for kids, food security programmes and just beautiful spaces where residents can have picnics or informal social events. I have made it my life’s work to create these spaces and to begin in my home town.”

 This is the story of Jabulani Dlamini, a community leader from Orange Farm and now learner on our Out of School Youth programme offered in Orange Farm by facilitator, Lawrence Tlhapane.


Jabulani’s relationship with JA South Africa spans about 20 years. He has always been an advocate for our programmes. Back in the late 1990s, after himself attending one of our programmes, years earlier, he recommended the JA South Africa Primary School programmes to other schools in Orange Farm which resulted in us offering the JA More than Money programme to schools in Orange Farm. In 2013, Jabulani once again advocated for our programmes and assisted our facilitators to mobilise out of work, out of school youth in Orange Farm to participate in the 20-week programme. As a result, 68 learners have been exposed to our experiential entrepreneurial skills development programme (36 are attending the programme currently running in Orange Farm).


Jabulani has always been a very community-minded individual so, when he came across a group of young primary school learners being housed for an aftercare programme in an icy community center during winter, he felt it his duty to find a solution to obtaining better resources for the programme. “They were doing amazing work at the Havho Mutshila Community Centre, but how can a learner concentrate or stay healthy in such terrible conditions?” Jabulani goes on to say; “I then met with centre manager, Benjamin Nkosi and the two of us, together with eight other concerned community members, registered a co-operative called Sidingulwazi (seeking knowledge in IsiZulu). Together we set out to address a number of community challenges: The lack of resources for the aftercare programme that served such a critical need in the community; addressing the matter of illegal dumping in Orange Farm; teaching the co-operative members and the community at large the value of recycling; earning an income for ourselves and providing a source of income for unemployed community members.”


Sidingulwazi opened its doors on spring day of 2014 – an apt day to launch a waste management business. Together with Pik It Up, the team spent a week rolling out a cleaning campaign where 120 community members were taught the value of waste by exposing them to recycling. Government’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) was also introduced to the community during this campaign. During the campaign the Co-operative made a profit of R5,000, which was invested into upgrades of the community centre ahead of the winter months.


The community’s cleaning campaign resulted in four dumping sites being cleared of waste. Two community groups represenDSC_0015ting about 30 families have adopted two of the open spaces and are using it as sustenance farms where onions, tomatoes, green beans, and carrots are being farmed to feed these 30 families. The third space is being used as a children’s recreational space where, in partnership with City Parks, the installation of play equipment and maintenance is an ongoing project. 150 community members, in partnership with Pik It Up, run a food waste programme at the fourth open space. Pik It Up donated tools, protective uniforms and Occupational Health and Safety training programmes to 10 team members to ensure the success of the programme.


It is clear that Jabulani is a beacon of success in Orange Farm and uses his network to benefit the community as a whole.


“The JA South programme has helped me develop my interpersonal skills in such a way that I am now more comfortable with delegating responsibilities to team members and as a result, we get more work done. The market research session was an eye opener for me. At start up, I thought I knew exactly what the market (my community) wanted because I was so invested in the needs of my community. However, the programme taught me to ask the right questions of my clients resulting in a better service offering to them.”


We will continue to follow Jabulani’s success and wish this exemplary entrepreneur well on his journey as an #OpportunityMaker.

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.”



The Ginger Beer Challenge

What do you get when you combine a team of young potential entrepreneurs and the ingredients to make 20 litres of ginger beer? The introduction to the JA out of school youth enterprise development programme of course!

JA South Africa is always looking for ways to stimulate and motivate young people to launch their own small businesses and this is precisely why the ginger beer challenge is now included in the introductory session of the programme. In an effort to encourage programme participants to think entrepreneurially right from the beginning of the programme, students are divided into groups of five and are provided with the ingredients and a recipe to make 20L of ginger beer. Their challenge is to generate as much profit as possible through the sale of the ginger beer. Decisions as to who will make the ginger beer, where they will sell it, how to market it and the price are left completely up to the individual teams.

Ginger Beer

The Nalt company from the Ekurhuleni Business Centre programme funded by GE South Africa found their ginger beer to be so popular that they decided to continue with this business for the rest of the programme. After generating a net profit of R200 during the challenge, the group realised that there was a huge demand for their product as the traditional ginger beer made in African cultures is not available in retail stores. The team identified corporate office parks and taxi ranks as ideal points of sale and have doubled their profits. In an effort to ensure that their product is unique, the company is currently researching and testing individual family recipes for ginger beer to create their own unique, secret recipe.

The companies formed during a similar programme, called ITS TYME, at the Khaya Centre in Lehae, funded by Absa, all decided to continue selling their ginger beer. To ensure their competitive advantage, some teams have included products that complement the ginger beear flavour such as hot dogs, boerewors rolls and the like.

“This challenge is fantastic because it demands that the students pull together quickly. They only have a week in which to sell their ginger beer and the teamwork they need to display to complete the task is essential for the success of any potential entrepreneur” noted Joanne Bender, National Programmes Manager at JA South Africa.