Congratulations to the Transnet-funded YEDP graduates in KZN!

With 24 students on the programme, 19 different businesses have been initiated

The Transnet-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme held at the Umkhumbane Entrepreneurial Support Centre in Wiggins, Durban held their certification ceremony today, Friday 29 June. The 24 participants have started 19 business ventures, with some working together to manifest their entrepreneurial dreams. These range from making clothes, shoes and food to providing crèches, beauty salons and even venturing into construction.

  Nonhlanhla Doris Mkhize, who has partnered with fellow student Simphiwe Zulu, feels confident that she now has the skills and knowledge to raise funds to develop the crèche she runs.

“The programme has taught me how to manage my small business to grow to a higher level.  I have learnt that the main asset in business is money so financial management is crucial.  I am going to use these skills learned on how to open a small-scale businesses as a start up in life.” 

Londiwe Pearl Bhuleni has started baking a range of muffins, from vanilla to red velvet, since starting the programme and is now making birthday cakes too.

“JASA has helped me to think creatively – to come up with solutions that solve problems.  Mostly, I have learned to manage money, which is what is helping me to expand.”

Participant Zinhle Meyiwa, who will be buying and selling organic food supplements, comments:

“When I heard about this course I knew it was exactly what I needed.  It has been a confidence builder and a provided a wealth of information. I have also learnt how to be an ethical businesswoman, how to structure my company, how to price set and how to manage my financials.”

Penelope Mdlalose is working on a hairdressing, nail and beauty salon that will help people to look good and live a healthy life. She has learnt how to do market research and be successful in business, not to mention the importance of keeping business finance separate from your salary.

Sinethemba Nosisa Shange and Zuzani Zondi, who have started a business making and selling fast food such as fried chips, vetkoek, ox livers and other take-away items, comment that they have learned to stand on their own feet and start a business.

“JASA encourages us to do everything well and has shown us how important it is to be an entrepreneur.”



Company of the Year 2018 finalists gear up for the final presentation week

Nine provincial finalists are preparing for the final presentations of Company of the Year 2018

Two representatives from each school will come to Johannesburg for intensive workshops to hone their presentations. Then, in the first pitching session, a shortlist of five teams will be selected. These will go on to present in a final pitch and awards evening, sponsored by Citi and hosted at Citi in Sandton on Thursday July 12. They will have the opportunity to present their unique business ideas to a panel of four judges of business people and industry professionals. On the same evening the winners will be announced.

All students teams that have participated in JA South Africa Mini Enterprise and Entrepreneurship programmes were eligible to enter. Here are the final teams:

North West           Sedibelo Secondary, Saulspoort

Company: Phenomenal Art of Jupiter (PAJ)    Funder:Anglo American 2018

PAJ industries produce AfriVin Bracelets, which are made from hand-woven thread, personalised to include a person’s name using alphabet beads, and then painted. These bracelets are marketed to young men and women who have an eye for art and fashion.



The general manager explained that the programme has enabled him to discover skills he never knew he had. He has gained an understanding of how to apply market strategy, leadership and management skills to running a business and how these skills are especially important when you want to scale up.

Limpopo            Kgakoa Secondary, Makgodu

Company: Stay-Shining Enterprise    Funder: Anglo American

This company is making slippers and gloves made from synthetic cotton, in various colours, by hand. They would like to scale up production and be able to approach retail outlets, which will entail investing in a sewing machine. By mid-June the company had sold 10 pairs of slippers at R55 each and 15 pairs of gloves at R35 each.


Western Cape            Lentegeur High School, Cape Town

A-Team Productions    Funder: Citi

A-Team Productions make multi-purpose cellphone and accessory holders from new and used fabric. A selling point is that the various compartments that can store USBs, earphones and power banks, solving the problem of having to look for these items in different places. Since the holders can fold up and be secured using velcro, a zip or tied with a ribbon, they can easily fit into pockets and bags.

 The company plans to expand their range by extending into gift packs containing the multi-purpose holder with earphones, a USB cord and a power bank, that can be packaged for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and Christmas presents. They market on Facebook, in the school newsletter and on What’s App groups, where educators assisted by sending messages to parents, and a local community app.


Northern Cape            Boresetse High, Barkly West

Eleven Levels    Funder: Investec

Their Multipurpose Supplies Holders are designed to hold brooms, mops and cloths and are made from recycled materials. The product is versatile in that it can be installed in a cupboard or it can be hung on the wall and thus can be targeted at various markets, from individuals to institutions.


Eastern Cape           Vulamazibuko High, East London

Company: Sisonke Junior Achievers    Funder: Transnet

They resell snacks, stationary and other small items in small hand-made bags. By buying in bulk and then bundling products together, their assembled product makes it affordable for students with small incomes. Their initial idea was to make clutch bags but due to financial constraints, with some members not buying their shares timeously, they came up with the alternative of selling stationery and sweets in small bags. The bags and some of the accessories are made by the team.


Free State           Reahola Secondary School, Phuthaditjhaba

Company: Dynasty    Funder: Investec

Their product is a coaster made from matchsticks that has an African feel and can be custom-made to suit a client’s tastes and include branding for corporate gifts. An innovative aspect of the design is that the coaster will have a heating element to keep cups warm, using a USB connection that can be plugged into a laptop. Marketing is done through social media, posters and word of mouth.

Gauteng          McAuley House, Johannesburg

Company: Meraki    Funder: Delta

Meraki produces a portable projector that doubles as a screen magnifier. The magnifier is made out of glass and has a wooden stand. It can be used as mini-projector for small groups and assists with reading. Due to its affordability and portability the team aim to access a diverse market. Currently they are marketing their products at school assemblies, as well as through presentations, social media and word of mouth.

Gauteng           Sandtonview, Johannesburg

Company: Tswarenang Property Limited    Funder: Londvolota 

This company makes customised bookmarks made frpm paper, glitter and ribbons. Currently, the company uses word of mouth to target a broad range of readers. They are exploring the potential to grow by selling through bookstores and publishers.

KwaZulu-Natal           Northlands Girls High, Durban

Company: O’ My Garden    Funder: Citi

You can purchase a glass jar containing a succulent from O’ My Garden. The jar contains a succulent planted in soil layered above pebbles and is wrapped with cellophane and a ribbon. The unit price is R30 and they had sold approximately 358 products by mid-June. Advertising is done by word of mouth.


From retrenchment to entrepreneur: Rubin Witbooi’s story

For Rubin Witbooi it took being retrenched to pursue his dream of owning a business

Two years ago, Rubin Witbooi’s world was destabilised when he was retrenched from the vending machine company he was employed at. After this, he began to assist a family member with running a tuck-shop. Though this was a helpful stopgap it was hardly a sustainable option for a man with a family to support.

With a knowledge of vending machines and having honed the skills needed to work with, and maintain, this kind of equipment, Witbooi began to think about starting his own venture. However, the challenge of getting out of the starting blocks seemed insurmountable.

  Fortunately, JASA was hosting a Youth Enterprise Development Programme at Eureka Hub in Masakhe in Mitchells Plain and Witbooi joined the programme. This is one of five such programmes funded by Transnet around the country.

Witbooi signed up to gain an understanding of how to run a small business so he could manifest his entrepreneurial dream. Through the sessions, he began to create records and get organised. He drafted a business plan and identified his target market. One of the most difficult aspects of learning how to manage a business  was getting to grips with costing, in terms of breaking down all the costs and then projecting profits based on the costs, he says.

Since the business was evolving quickly and Witbooi had already secured funding through a private investor, the facilitator initiated one-on-one additional mentorship sessions with Witbooi.

With the foundational building blocks of his business laid, he began to register his company on various databases to begin securing clients. In addition, wherever he went, he was on the lookout for potential venues.

One night he was at the Trauma Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital and really wanted a cup of coffee. There was no facility in the hospital. And even if he wanted to risk walking the neighbouring streets after dark there was no place open, so he went without. This made him realise what an excellent venue the hospital would be for a vending machine that dispenses hot beverages. He got in touch with the necessary person and after some negotiation he secured a year-long contract that launched from the beginning of June 2018.

Having a contract with one government institution makes it more likely to received more contracts as a supplier on their database. With the knowledge he has gained thus far, his projected earnings are far beyond what he could previously have imagined.


Learners start to make realistic choices for their future

Making proactive choices about your path in life 

Being on a JASA programme has helped learner Nondumiso Msoni to start thinking about the realistic choices she needs to make to secure a good future. Also, this process has built her self-confidence and given her a more positive attitude to life.

She is a participant on a JASA Entrepreneurship Academy Programme funded by Investec. Her school, Douglas Mbopa High in Motherwell, took the proactive step of contacting JASA’s agent in Port Elizabeth, Ysanne Bosman, to request that JASA run a programme for them.

Additional Saturday sessions were added to the once-a-week Wednesday meetings to ensure the students covered the course material thoroughly. With the school located in a historically disadvantaged community, this entrepreneurial programme provides much needed skills development and confidence building.

Facilitator Mpumi Mgandela comments: “We teach the students theory and the process of them putting it into practice makes the experience powerful. While equipping them with skills, they are also having a lot of fun.”

Students have created two team companies, Florentino and Our Young Achievers. In the product development phase the students went into their community to do market research about the products they would later develop and sell.


In the winter school holidays the students will visit two companies on a field trip located in the Nelson Mandela Bay region. This will give them the opportunity to see a production line in action and interview staff and team leaders and then come back with their findings.

Self-styled Grade 10 motivator and innovator, Msoni, is CEO of Florentino. Her company chose to make various kinds of candles. One of the challenges they had to deal with is staff members not pitching up for meetings due to other school commitments. She admits that they should have done better market research when developing the product.

We did not really analyse what was already available in the market,” Msoni says.                                                

What a great insight to have learnt now, which can pay off if Msoni ventures into business in the future. Despite being a student company they even have a CSI initiative – donating clothes to the community.

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Congratulations to three winning pitches of JASA alumni at We Connect

Three JASA Alumni were awarded cash prizes at We Connect conference

We Connect hosted a pitching competition for seven JASA Youth Enterprise Development Programme alumni at their annual conference at Ernst & Young in Sandton on 1 June.

Seven women had the nerve-wracking experience of pitching their businesses to a panel of We Connect members who have established businesses.

Congratulations to Nthabiseng Tomotomo, Thulile Mbuyane and Annwen Jordan for their three winning pitches at nd well done to all 7 JASA alumni who presented. #WinningWomen 



Photos: Courtesy Kerry Robertson, Flow Communications