Tag Archives: Youth unemployment

#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.


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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.

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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 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.

New Experiential Entrepreneurial Programme Material Launched

 

Junior Achievement South Africa has announced the launch of its new interactive, picture based programme material ensuring that its programmes continue to take the lead in experiential enterprise education in South Africa.

Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) identified the need to enhance and improve their programme material to ensure that the material remains exciting, interactive and learner driven.  The main objective of the improvement was to create interesting learning material for learners through picture based activities that could support existing programme material and improve the understanding of important business concepts.

JASA contracted Trainiac, to develop the new material, a company specialising in visually mapping learning content and crafting discovery-based activities which facilitate faster learning and higher content retention and application.  After several months of research and development, Trainiac presented a programme kit for the Mini Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Academy Programmes consisting of:

1. An interactive map representing two entrepreneurial environments:

a. A Junior Achievement mini-company running in a school environment and

b. A properly functioning production business in a real-world environment.

These environments illustrate the various functions of several business processes in both a JA mini-company and an actual production business. Eg. different management positions and their roles and responsibilities, various ways of acquiring start-up capital and methods of product quality control.

2.            A game board and activity cards used in a variety of interactive learn-by-doing activities, including a  card based business simulation.Hulwazi Learners Exploring the New Material

The new material is currently being piloted at a Mini Enterprise Programme at Hulwazi Secondary School in Daveyton, funded by Spar South Rand.  The pilot phase has been extremely successful and feedback from both learners and facilitators has been excellent! The learners have been eager to participate and the interactive material has ensured that they have enjoyed their programme sessions immensely.  Upon completion of the pilot phase, all of JASA’s 2014 Entrepreneurship Academy and Mini Enterprise Programmes will incorporate the new material.

“By providing for our learning material to be even more interactive, not only are we ensuring that we utlitise maximum experiential learning methods in our programmes, we are hoping this will assist in a planned move towards the development of a digital learning platform, which will allow us to scale up and reach learners in deep rural areas where physical programme facilitation is not always possible or practical.”  Noted Linda McClure.

Young Entrepreneurs Show Promise

The Youth Enterprise Development (YED) Programme, funded by the DG Murray Trust, and the ITS TYME Programme, funded by Absa, were launched by Junior Achievement South Africa last year, to try to alleviate the high rate of youth unemployment in South Africa.   Both programmes focus on  teaching unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 35 how to start and run their own sustainable businesses. 

Since the start of the YED Programme midway through 2012, JASA has carefully monitored and mentored the small business owners that have completed the programme. During the mentorship phase, JASA has seen some astounding outcomes of the programme, through the successful, sustainable businesses that have flourished in the past six months. We have decided to feature two of the many successful businesses that have resulted from the out of school programmes. 

Nolubabalo Madudela, 33

Nolubabalo was already a business owner when she began the Youth Enterprise Development Programme, funded by the DG Murray Trust, at the NYDA office in Cape Town in August 2012.  She started selling fish and chips from her house in 2007 when she couldn’t find a job, but joined the programme because she wanted to learn how to grow her business into a sustainable, functional enterprise. 

During the programme she realised that she needed to  include additional products to ensure that she had enough of a selection to grow her target market and decided to add fat cakes to her menu, which increased the demand for her products.  Nolubabalo had one stall when she started the programme, but the demand for her products has grown so much in the past six months, that she has added a second stall at a busy location.  Nolubabalo’s business NS Mini Tuckshop also employs three people; two to assist with the preparation of the food and an additional lady to run the new stall.  Nolubabalo notes that she has experienced some challenges but that her ability to adapt and learn has helped her create a successful, sustainable business.

Sarah Dube, 33

Sarah Dube started her small health food business, called Go Vegan, during the Youth Enterprise Development Programme, funded by the DG Murray Trust, at the NYDA office in Cape Town in August 2012. She had previously tried her hand at selling whole-wheat fat cakes but did not have the know how to further develop her business.  During the programme, Go Vegan began by selling pies and samoosas, on foot, in areas with heavy foot traffic. 

Sarah’s business has grown dramatically in the past six months and she has added a variety of muffins, cakes, sesame bars and health cakes to her menu.  Go Vegan not only has a strong individual customer base but Sarah is now supplying a bed and breakfast establishment, a hair salon and three colleges with baked goods. Sarah is pleased with her progress thus far and she has big dreams for Go Vegan.  Sarah currently has no transport and she has to carry her stock as she delivers to her customers.  Her next goal is to open her own shop and employ someone to help her bake and prepare her orders for the next day.