Tag Archives: Junior Achievement South Africa

R1 million donation to JA South Africa provides hundreds of learners with entrepreneurial skills 

JOHANNESBURG, 11 June 2015 MasterCard has extended its support of the Junior Achievement South Africa(JA South Africa) Mini Enterprise Programme for a sixth consecutive year, with a R1 million donation that will see 531 learners, predominantly young females, participate in the organisation’s flagship programme.

The Mini Enterprise Programme will guide the selected Grade 10 and 11 learners from 13 schools across seven provinces in theory and practical sessions lasting three hours after school, one afternoon a week for 15 weeks. The Programme focuses on business theory, accounting, cash flow and marketing, equipping the learners to develop and market their own product to their community and building their interpersonal skills and confidence too.

To date, almost 2,000 young South Africans, mostly females, have benefitted from the six year collaboration between MasterCard and JA South Africa. Each learner has been equipped with the skills that they need upon completing the programme to become entrepreneurs when leaving school through this ongoing collaboration.

“We believe in the power of long-term relationships, and have no doubt that MasterCard’s continued support of youth entrepreneurship is making a difference to the lives of the learners,” says Linda McClure, MD of JA South Africa.

While South Africa’s unemployment rate decreased slightly to 24.3 percent at the end of 2014, research shows thatunemployment among women is continually higher than among men. Seventy percent of the learners in this year’s programme are young females between the ages of 15 and 17, continuing MasterCard’s commitment to invest in women empowerment.

“Supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship among women is a key focus for MasterCard globally, and in South Africa we are proud to partner with JA South Africa to help play a role in changing the lives of our youth, for the better,” says Mark Elliott, Division President, MasterCard, South Africa.

“Our local team is actively encouraged to get involved in programmes like this, to volunteer their time and knowledge to add even further value to the educational material that the learners are exposed to,” he says.

MasterCard’s donation has made it possible for the following schools to participate in the 2015 Mini Enterprise Programme:

  • Gauteng – Dawnview High School, McAuley House, Sandtonview School
  • KwaZulu Natal – Avonford Secondary School, Chesterville Secondary School, Ridge Park College, Umkhumbane Secondary School
  • Limpopo – Motse Maria High School
  • Northern Cape – Tshireleco High School
  • North West Province – Herman Thebe Secondary School
  • Eastern Cape – Khulani Commercial High School
  • Western Cape – Kensington High School, Villiersdorp Senior Secondary School

Six of the 13 schools are offering the Mini Enterprise Programme for the second consecutive year, while McAuley House has provided learners with JA South Africa programmes for the last six years in MasterCard-sponsored programmes.

JA South Africa is the local chapter of Junior Achievement, a global non-profit organisation that partners with business communities, educators and volunteers to develop much-needed entrepreneurial skills to prepare learners for the working world after high school.

About MasterCard

MasterCard, www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter: @MasterCardMEA and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the MEA Engagement Bureau.

About JA South Africa

JA South Africa has for the past 36 years been offering South African youth, aged between 10 and 35, a platform to create sustainable futures as opportunity makers and possibility seekers. We achieve this through our array of programmes, all experiential in nature where learners are required to actively engage in real business or financial activities. Follow us on Facebook; Junior Achievement South Africa or on Twitter @JASouthAfrica – hashtag #OpportunityMakers.

Media Contact

Birgit Deibele, MasterCard, birgit_deibele@mastercard.com, +27 71 464 0983

Kelly Webster | Nicola Tarr, Tribeca Public Relations, mastercard@tribecapr.co.za, +27 11 208 5500

Fazlyn Toeffie, JA South Africa, Fazlyn@jasa.co.za, +27 11 331 3150

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 (www.saweb.co.za). 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.

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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.

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!”

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

 

MasterCard Continues to Invest in Entrepreneurship: Sponsors 520 Learners

R1 million donation equips South African learners with knowledge and skills to start up a business

 Johannesburg, 12 June 2014 Five hundred and twenty learners from 14schools in seven provinces are participating in the 2014 Junior Achievement (JA) South Africa Mini Enterprise Programme, thanks to a R1 million donation from MasterCard.  This is the fourth consecutive year that MasterCard has supported the globally-recognised JA South Africa programme, which fosters entrepreneurship among South Africa’s youth.

JA South Africa is the local chapter of Junior Achievement, a global non-profit organisation that partners with business communities, educators and volunteers to develop much-needed entrepreneurial skills that prepare learners for the working world after high school.

The Grade 10 and 11 learners participating in the 15-week Mini Enterprise Programme are predominantly female and attend a weekly three-hour class after school. During these sessions, learners are taught workplace readiness as well as entrepreneurial and financial literacy skills.

Youth unemployment in South Africa is one of the highest in the world. According to Stats SA’s Quarter 1 2014 Quarterly Labour Force Survey, 36 percent of all young people under the age of 34 are unemployed, and those that are working are more likely to be employed in precarious conditions.

“This programme will equip these young learners with the skills that they will need to launch their own businesses, so that they in turn can employ others,” said Linda McClure, MD of JA South Africa. “A project like this will help break the cycle of unemployment faced by school leavers that threatens the future of South Africa’s youth, and will promote job creation, which is one of government’s top priorities.”

Facilitated by JA South Africa-trained facilitators, the programme is divided into theory and practical sessions. The learners will initially focus on business theory, including accounting, cash flow and marketing. They will then gain practical business experience by developing a product or service of their choice in response to their own market research, and will then market the product to their community.

Through the programme, learners also gain important interpersonal skills and confidence, which are required in the work environment. MasterCard volunteers will also be invited to share their business experience and advice with the learners to further inspire them

“Over the past four years that we have supported JA South Africa, over 1,000 learners have participated in the various entrepreneurship programmes, and most of them are young women, ” says Philip Panaino, Division President, MasterCard, South Africa.

“South Africa has come a long way in giving women access to education and regular employment opportunities, which are essential building blocks to further empowerment, financial independence and leadership. This programme addresses all of these building blocks in its course content, and we look forward to welcoming these learners into the business world when they emerge as successful entrepreneurs.

Learners from Bophelong Secondary school show off their products

Learners from Bophelong Secondary school show off their products

The donation from MasterCard has made it possible for these schools to participate in the 2014 Mini Enterprise Programme:

  • Gauteng – McAuley House, Dawnview High School, Bophelong Secondary School
  • Limpopo – Motse Maria Secondary School
  • North West Province – Herman Thebe High School
  • KwaZulu Natal – Ridge Park College, Sisebenzile Secondary School, Northmead Secondary School
  • Western Cape – Kensington Senior Secondary School, Villiersdorp Secondary School, Joe Slovo High School, Aloe Secondary School
  • Eastern Cape – Khulani Commercial High School
  • Northern Cape – Homevale Senior Secondary School

“MasterCard is committed to furthering financial inclusion through the power of entrepreneurship as it ensures that people have an opportunity to achieve their full potential. We chose to support these learners as we have identified that nurturing entrepreneurship – particularly among women – is a postive way to address South Africa’s current high level of unemployment. Ultimately the programmes will assist each learner in achieving positive economic outcomes for themselves, their families and their communities,” says Panaino.

UPS Assists Gauteng Learners

UPS is currently funding six Be Entrepreneurial Programmes for Grade 9 learners in Gauteng. Schools participating the BE programmes are Bophelong Community School, Dawnview High School, McAuley House, Meyerton High School, Sandtonview Combined and Thembisa High School.

During the four day Be Entrepreneurial programme, learners are introduced to the business world through interactive games; through these games learners are taught how to compile a business plan, they learn about competitive advantage, ethics, financing, product development and social responsibility.

In total 267 learners will benefit from UPS’s generous contribution. “This is the second year that UPS has funded JA South Africa programmes, their contribution to South Africa’s youth is highly appreciated and the impact that their funding has on the communities these schools are in is clearly visible.” Said Linda McClure, Managing Director of JA South Africa.

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.