Tag Archives: Investec

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!”


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.

Sifiso Motaung Wins the Junior Innovators Competition 2012

On Sunday, 30th September 2012, 45 learners from across South Africa made their way to Sandton, Johannesburg, to compete for the chance to become the first ever Junior Innovators winner. The learners had been selected from over 100 entries received. To enter, they were required to identify a problem in their community and develop a socially innovative solution to it. They also needed to write a letter of motivation and obtain a letter of recommendation from a community leader.

The competition, generously funded and supported by Investec, was held in Sandton, between 30th September and 3rd October 2012. During the four days, the finalists attended various workshops, specifically designed to help develop their concepts into full five minute business presentations. They were also lucky enough to attend talks from several high level corporate individuals and successful entrepreneurs. On the final day, the finalists were required to present their concepts to a panel of judges, who then selected the top ten. The presentations were all astounding and the innovations presented were inspiring! The top ten finalists were then required to present their concepts to another panel of judges, as well as their fellow contestants.


The event culminated in a spectacular evening titled, Night of the Stars. The finalists all dressed up in their finest formalwear and were treated to exclusive red carpet treatment—literally! On arrival they were swarmed by “paparazzi” whilst trying to make their way down the elegant red carpet. They were treated to spectacular food and entertainment, by none other than DJ Dino Bravo.

First prize, of R60 000 towards his studies, was awarded to Sifiso Motaung from Sandtonview Combined School for his Urea Fertilizer concept, an organic fertilizer made from purified urine. Second prize of R20 000 went to Snethemba Gasa, from KZN, for her shopping packet carrying service and third prize of R10 000 went to Beacon Secondary School learner, Lindokuhle Sithole, for his brilliant Solar Mill concept!


The competition was a huge success and JASA hopes this will become an annual event!

Junior Achievement South Africa and Investec Launch the Junior Innovators Competition

Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) and Investec are proud to announce the launch of the Junior Innovators competition.  The competition is aimed at rewarding one winner with entrepreneurship potential and characteristics.  The competition is open to all grade 10 and 11 learners participating in JASA’s Mini Enterprise or Entrepreneurship Academy programmes during 2012.

The first round of the competition will take place from 15th May 2012 – 09th August 2012 and entrants will be required to complete a comprehensive application form, collect letters of motivation from community leaders and identify a socially innovative business concept to enter the competition.  From these entries the top 45 candidates will be selected from across the country, these finalists will be invited to participate in the final, in Johannesburg. “Not only does this competition aim to reward the highest scoring entrepreneur, it also aims at getting our youth to identify sustainable business ideas that positively impacts their immediate community’s.  We look forward to seeing what concepts the learners come up with.  There will also be bi-weekly sms competitions during the first round and learners must be prepared to answer some tough questions, the prizes make it well worth it!” stated Namhla Saba, from Investec.

The final will be held at Investec’s Sandton offices over four days from Sunday 30 September 2012 – Thursday 4 October 2012.  Investec is sponsoring this all expenses-paid competition that includes meals, refreshments and accommodation for the finalists.  During these four days, finalists will be mentored by various Investec and JASA staff to develop their business concept into a feasible business plan, this business plan will then be presented to a panel of judges (all of whom will be successful entrepreneurs) on the final day.  The event will culminate in an awards event on the final evening.  The winner of the Junior Innovators competition will be awarded R60 000 towards either the startup of their business or their tertiary education.

Junior Achievement South Africa Teen Entrepreneurs Make South Africa Proud!

Soweto students show dedication to fostering economic growth across the sub-Saharan region through business acumen and innovation.

Ten excited learners, in Grades 10 and 11, from Meadowlands Secondary school in Soweto, arrived at OR Tambo International airport on 18th October 2011.  They were about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an all-expenses paid trip to the Second Annual Regional Junior Achievement (JA) Africa Region, Company of the Year (COY) competition in Accra, Ghana, sponsored by Barclays and Fedex.

At the airport

The learners were all participants in the Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) Entrepreneurship Academy Programme funded by Investec.  The programme is a seven month long, intensive programme which aims to educate over 400 Grade 10 and 11 learners from eleven under resourced schools across six provinces on every aspect of running their own business, they are taught entrepreneurial skills by essentially starting up and running their own mini companies.   The Meadowlands students had split themselves into two companies namely; Sisonke Enterprise and Young Achievers.  These mini company’s had been selected from over approximately 150 other mini companies, launched during JASA programmes during 2011, to represent South Africa in the JA Africa Region COY competition, due to their innovative products.

Sisonke Enterprise

Sisonke Enterprise saw a need in their community, caused by a lack of electricity, specifically load shedding. They solved the need identified, by creating the Circuit Lamp Shade, a product that would provide buyers with an additional source of light during power outages.  The lamp shade is made from ice cream sticks, which are recycled.  They sold ice creams at school and refunded children that brought the sticks back to them.  They also located a supplier of new unused ice cream sticks for larger orders.  They are also currently in the development stages of a solar powered kettle.

Sisonke Display

Young Achievers

Young Achievers produce the Express Music Case:  a plastic suitcase that has been modified to include various forms of music players.  The company decided to modify a suitcase to help their schoolmates, since cell phones are not allowed in schools, but school bags are.  The case runs on a battery so it is perfect for areas with load shedding or for homes with no electricity.  They also customised some cases to include a torch that can be used when the power goes out or for walking to school early in the morning or for studying late at night.

Young Achievers Display

Five representatives from each company were selected to travel to Ghana to represent their company’s.

The South African teams joined 20 other student companies from 14 sub-Saharan countries namely; Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Kenya, Mauritius, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.

Both teams performed extremely well in all aspects of the four day competition.  They produced excellent Company Reports, performed exceptionally well in their Trade Fair booths, executed phenomenal four minute business presentations to a hall filled with people and handled themselves with professionalism during their panel interviews. They enjoyed socialising with learners from different African countries and were the most eager teams at the competition.  The South African teams were always sitting in the front row, or jumping on stage with the performers to dance.  They were eager to share their views and experiences with anyone that was willing to listen and they were always early to any of the sessions.  They also thoroughly enjoyed the Ghanaian weather and took full advantage of the pool.

Meadowlands Team Swimming

Unfortunately neither South African team was awarded the ultimate prize, the Kenyan team Eco Eagles deservedly won.  Eco Eagles produced quality organic broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce using their own unique, innovative organic and modern scientific methods.  They used locally available waste material, instead of soil, as a growing medium, without any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, thus producing an environmentally friendly and cost-effective product.

Although our teams did not bring home any of the prizes, what they gained in knowledge and experience far outweighs any trophy.

“Our trip to Ghana was awesome!  There were so many life changing moments, we learnt so much, met so many new people and had a great time.  A big thank you to Junior Achievement South Africa for making our dreams realities.” Omphile Rakate – Young Achievers

Young Achievers