Young business minds get a chance to shine

Some of the pupils who attended the first class at Suikerland Secondary School.

MALALANE – In a bid to address the lack of job opportunities, a JA South Africa initiative that is funded by Transnet, is hoping to inspire young businessmen and -women.

This is through a recent 20-week programme which it launched last Friday at the Suikerland Secondary School.

According to JA South Africa’s marketing and communication manager, Fazlyn Toeffie, the ultimate objective of the programme is to create self-sustaining entrepreneurs that speak to the lack of job opportunities in the country.

“We call these guys opportunity makers, so all our learners who come through the programme are called that. It is really an #OpportunityMakers fun kind of way to remind themselves, and us whose objective is to create them. A code of people who will go out and create opportunities, which is jobs, exciting employment opportunities rather people who will sit back and wait for opportunities to happen to them,” Toeffie explained.

Over the duration of the programme 40 grade-10 pupils will be equipped with business skills, such as identifying a business opportunity, setting up a business, market research planning, and financial management.

Pupils will have the opportunity to start two competing businesses, which will be headed by the general manager who is supported by the following leaders, accountant, admin assistant, financial manager, human resource manager, production manager, safety officer, sales manager and stock controller.

Depending on how the pupils run the businesses, they stand a chance to make a real profit.

“During the programme, the pupils attend board meetings and make business decisions that will ultimately lead to whether they make a profit or loss in their business. Even if they do fail, we celebrate the failure, if you want to call it that, because the pupils still learn why is it that they made a loss. So in future they won’t make a loss again,” Toeffie added.

She added that the top 40 pupils in the country stand a chance to enter another competition which takes place in Gauteng in October, also funded by Transnet.

“Pupils in this programme have the opportunity to enter the Transnet/SABS/JA South Africa Young Movers Competition, where the top 40 most innovative entries have the opportunity to attend a week-long workshop in Johannesburg. Here their innovative idea will be workshopped and the entrepreneur will be mentored to one day achieve entrepreneurial success,” Toeffie concluded.

Daluxolo Sibiya

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