Mandela Day with ABSA

Mandela Day: Absa joins JA South Africa for a More than Money Programme at the Boys and Girls Club in Protea Glen, Soweto

ABSA staff volunteers assisted JA South Africa on Mandela Day 2017, where we partnered to implement the JA More than Money Programme, which teaches financial literacy. Together, we reached 90 Grade 5 to 7 learners at the Boys and Girls Club in Protea Glen, Soweto. Thank you to ABSA staff and our welcoming hosts at the Boys and Girls Club, who ensured that the students came and that everything ran smoothly.

ABSA staff arrived bright and early to be briefed on how to lead the teams in the entrepreneurship sessions for the day. The learners were divided into groups and first they came up with team names and war cries – one team chose Mandela Magic as their name and another the Nelson Mandela Crew. Each team enthusiastically belted out their war cry.

Then the learners were guided through a game that introduced the concepts of earning, spending, saving and investing. This was followed by a session where they identified problems they could be solved in society by applying their skills and talents. Through this process they came up with potential businesses and the ABSA mentors spoke to them about drawing up a business plan. Then they presented their business ideas and receive advice.

Far from being a once-off event, this is a milestone in the long-standing partnership with Junior Achievement, not only in South Africa but also in Africa through their parent company Barclays Africa Group. “This marks but one day of continued support of the sustainable efforts of community organisations,” says Tshepo Mdwaba, ABSA Head of Citizenship for Gauteng South. “Our citizenship strategy is based on the idea that communities must thrive and thus we focus on education, skills training, enterprise development and financial inclusivity.”

May our partnerships continue to plant seeds that enable youth to unlock their entrepreneurial potential.

ABSA staff of Gauteng South Region from left to right, Banie Claasen, Managing Executive, Tshepo Mdwaba, Head of Citizenship, and Paul Counihan, Head of Private Bank

Mastercard-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme Graduation 2017

Mastercard funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme graduation

Funded by Mastercard, the 20-week JA South Africa Youth Enterprise Development Programme targeted 210 women in three provinces. The graduation ceremony for Gauteng was held in Johannesburg on 5 July, where more than 160 out-of-school, unemployed or self-employed young women between the ages of 18 and 35 graduated from the programme. The Limpopo graduation was on 11 August, followed by the Western Cape on August 22.

Graduates from the programme receive a NQF level 4 Services Seta Accredited Youth Enterprise Development Certificate and the Intel Learn Easy Steps Digital Literacy Certificate, and an opportunity to participate in a six-month mentorship programme, which will provide them with additional business support while they start formal enterprises.

“Entrepreneurs characteristically have ambition, determination and a flair for original ideas. However, many lack the business expertise required to develop these into commercially-viable ventures,” says Nelly Mofokeng, managing director at JA South Africa. “A key focus of our programme is to help equip young women with the skills to launch and grow their own businesses, and instill the discipline of earning a living, saving, spending and investing.”

This initiative empowers women to pursue entrepreneurial ventures of their own and over the 20-week programme, the women participated in theoretical and practical sessions focused on business theory, market research, financial and business management, sales and marketing, computer literacy and business funding. They also gained practical interpersonal skills and business experience by starting up and managing their own businesses.

Speakers at the event, from left to right, Annwen Jordan, graduate, Zaza Motha, guest speaker, Thuli Khubeka, graduate, Priscilla More, Graduate, Anolia Lusunzi, graduate, Dolly Mokgatle, JA South Africa Board Chair, Nelly Mofokeng, JA South Africa MD, Mark Elliott, Divisional President, Mastercard Southern Africa

Lydia Makgoba, a 29-year-old who attended the programme in Diepsloot, says: “I see myself owning a baby clothing manufacturing company with shops selling my brand locally and internationally so this programme is exactly what I needed. It helps young South African women like me who would like to be entrepreneurs by providing us with important skills such as financial literacy that we need to succeed.”

Annwen Jordan co-founded Joe4Real Productions with Jonah Zacheus. They assist musicians and composers with music administration, publishing, production and distribution. She comments: “Some people hire accountants and other people to handle various aspects but it is beneficial for an entrepreneur to know these processes so that you don’t get exploited.”

Through the 20-week programme, she was implementing what she was learning. After the session on market surveys she drew one up and sent it to musicians signed to Joe4Real. “I got great feedback from the surveys, which helped us improve our business.” She also found learning about business plans, finance and accessing funding useful.

Anolia Lusunzi started Anolia’s Beauty Salon in 2015 and has begun empowering members of her community by training them. This enterprise development programme has assisted her to run her business more effectively, especially when it comes to managing her finances and cash flow. She also gained a better understanding of how to craft a business plan for future growth. Lusunzi’s vision is to gain the funding and assistance required to open branches across the whole of Gauteng and Limpopo and to have her course accredited. She is excited about how the mentorship aspect of the programme will assist her to make her dream a reality.

Our guest speaker at the Gauteng graduation, Zaza Motha, is a JA South Africa alumni and founder of POUT, an inspirational and aspirational media platform for stories, opportunities and information that equips young women in going after their dreams and being the best they can be.

According to the 2017 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, women account for only 19.1 percent of business owners in South Africa, and have a low rate of entrepreneurial activity, with only seven percent of working age women in the labour force engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activities compared to 11.6 percent for men.

Thuli Khubeka of Green Leaf Cooperation was one of four graduates who gave presentations on how they have utilised the knowledge gained in their start-ups.

“South Africa’s resourceful women are one of its biggest assets, yet it is evident that South African women’s full potential and value as entrepreneurs and business owners are yet to be unleashed,” says Mark Elliott, division president, Mastercard Southern Africa. “The JA South Africa Programme is just one of the partnerships we have established to dismantle the structural obstacles and biases that impede female entrepreneurship so that women can play an enlarged role in South Africa’s economic growth story.”

Youth Enterprise Development Programme Gauteng Graduation

JA South Africa Company of the Year Competition 2017

JA South Africa Company of the Year Competition 2017

The final presentation evening of Junior Achievement’s 2017 Company of the Year competition was hosted by our sponsor Citi at their auditorium in Sandton on Thursday, 13 July.

A select group of finalists in Grades 10 and 11 from schools across the country, who participated in the JA South Africa Mini Enterprise and Entrepreneurship programmes, had the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and be recognised for their hard work and team efforts. Nine teams presented their unique business ideas to a judging panel of business people and other industry professionals.

From North West, the Sedibelo Secondary School’s company Epitome of Elite Industry was named the winning team for their innovative multi-purpose, non-toxic, environmentally-friendly cleaner made from natural ingredients including aloe and lemon.

Junior Achievement’s 2017 Company of the Year competition was hosted by Citi on Thursday, 13 July

Sedibelo Secondary School’ Epitome of Elite Industry were represented by Phemelo Motloba (left) and Mpho Ntshole.

Sedibelo Secondary School were awarded with a cash equivalent prize for their school and will be transported to Johannesburg to attend the JA Africa Regional Company of the Year Competition, taking place between 5 and 9 December 2017. South Africa is hosting the regional competition this year, in Johannesburg.

Second place was awarded to the team from Gresswold Secondary School in Johannesburg, Gauteng Their company Last Kings and Queens makes multi-purpose stationery desk containers from recycled materials, which are then decorated.

Ferrum High School’s Phola 911, from KwaZulu-Natal, took third place with their compact and affordable first aid kits target households and travellers.

Judges’ assessments were based on several criteria, including business idea clarity, the team’s ability to think critically, understanding basic business principles and the sustainability and relevance of the product or service to social responsibility.

Our guest speaker Nokwazi Mzobe founded the boutique consulting firm, Matoyana to enable more business owners in Africa to run successful, sustainable businesses and to promote a culture of entrepreneurship & innovative thinking. She generously gave two copies to each of the three winning teams of her book, The Small Business Handbook.

All learners attended a series of workshops where mentors helped them fine-tune their business ideas as well as their problem-solving, leadership and presentation skills to prepare them for the competition.

“JA South Africa’s partnership with Citi spans over 30 years, with Citi funding a number of programmes aimed at empowering school learners and out-of-school youth,” says JA South Africa MD Nelly Mofokeng. “This will be the third year that Citi has sponsored the JA South Africa Company of the Year event, and we are looking forward to a long and prosperous partnership in years to come.”

“The Citi Foundation has committed a US$100 million over the next three years to prepare 500,000 young people for today’s competitive job market,” explained Peter Crawley, CCO SA / TTS SSA Head. “With the rising youth unemployment rates globally, it is imperative to help youth build their confidence and cultivate their leadership skills and competitiveness.”

From left to right: Fortunate Huma, JA South Africa, Peter Crawley, Mastercard, Phemelo Motloba, Mpho Ntshole, Karabo Denelane, JA South Africa Board member and COY judge, Nelly Mofokeng, JA South Africa MD.

Schools who were selected to participate in the Company of the Year Competition are:


Business name

Product / service description

Gresswold Senior Secondary School, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Last Kings & Queens

Multi-purpose desk containers

Sedibelo Secondary School, Moruleng, Rustenburg, NW

Epitome of Elite Industry

Multi-purpose, environmentally-friendly cleaner made from natural ingredients including aloe and lemon

Custom-made beaded bracelets.

Kgakoa Secondary in Ramongwana, Limpopo

Dynasty Enterprise

Knitted wool slippers

Mhlume Secondary School, Mbombela, Mpumalanga

Super Achievers

Beaded bracelets, necklaces and rings

Clubview High School in Witsiehoek, Free State

Clubview Art Galore

Laundry bins in custom-made sizes from recycled wire and reeds

Ferrum High School in Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal

Phola 911

First aid kits

Douglas Mbopa Secondary School in Motherwell, EC

Shining Stars

Scented gel candles for different moods

Lentegeur Secondary School, Western Cape

Junior African Crafts

Dual beaded desktop mobile phone holder and photo frame

Emang Mmogo Comprehensive, Kimberly, Northern Cape

Unity Connections

Multi-purpose school bag covers

Company of the Year 2017