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.
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!