Mastercard-funded YEDP participants finish mentorship phase and continue developing businesses

Many fledgling businesses came out of the Mastercard-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programmes 2018

In 2018, Mastercard funded six Youth Enterprise Development Programmes targeting young women, which were hosted at four centres in Gauteng, one in Limpopo and one in the Western Cape.

After the 20-week incubator phase participants were then offered mentorship for a further six months. Learners who completed the programme, and were assessed as competent, received Services SETA NQF level 4 accredited certificates.

The aim of the mentoring programme is to further assist the students with establishing sustainable businesses and link them to support structures and opportunities that will help grow their aspirations, such as gaining access to business finance as well as study and placement opportunities.

Ivory Park, Gauteng

In Ivory Park, Sibusiso Mkhwanazi mentored 16 students who had collectively created six businesses. One participant created Ladies on a Mission, with the aim of providing ready-to-cook meals. This entailed doing research and networking with suppliers and farmers to engage on pricing and shape a viable business model.

Another entrepreneurial endeavour, The Ambassadors, are in the process of researching organic products to nourish hair. Mkhwanazi recommended that the team apply to SEDA’s Soshanguve Manufacturing Technology Demonstration Centre programme for small-scale manufacturing assistance. This SEDA incubation centre could provide help with blending their products and gaining market access.

Fat Cakes and Chicken Dust are in the process of applying for funding from the SEDA Technology Programme (STP) which provides up to R200 000 for the purchase of machinery so they can buy a food trailer and other equipment to make food and could also assist with other services, such as technology transfer.

Mastercard volunteers spent time with the students.


Olievenhoutbosch, Gauteng

Part of the process of shaping a business is to create a vision board:



At Les Coaching Development Centre, in Heidelberg, 17 participants continued with the mentorship phase and within this group, they had eight operational businesses. Programmes Coordinator Bonga Khumalo ran the mentorship sessions.

Some participants had teamed up to form businesses making and selling cakes, muffins and juice. At the start of the mentorship phase some of the challenges identified by company team members were lack of commitment from some members, poor communication and poor financial reporting and accounting.

On the positive side, the company Mvelo, which was formed as a breakaway from the initial business Ubiciko, had designed a logo for their juice, made some profit from sales, and were targeting funeral parlours to supply refreshments during funerals.

As the mentoring phase continued, Mvelo set a turnover target of R60 000, which would entail selling 6000 units of ginger beer and juice. The team managed to secure a loan of just under R2000 for production. In order to register their product with the SABS they will need to register their company and copyright their product, as well as procure a barcode. Their plan is to gain more clientele in the funeral parlour industry and market their business on social media.

Palm Ridge

  Team Flavour are utilising their sewing and knitting skills to make blankets using cotton, fleece and wool and they aim to expand with bed sets and matching curtains. Ginger Babes have found a way to cook chicken without the risk of burning it, through a strategy of soaking the chicken in salt water.

Reselling is one of the ways to shape a business. The company Achievers opted to buy and then resell tights, stockings and winter beanies while Next Owners have started to turn a profit from the resale of soft, fashionable face cloths and towels for babies. Scorpions buy watches and resell them.

There were many challenges that the companies have had to face, such as some team members not pulling their weight or some owing money, which had a negative impact on cash flow. Rising above these difficulties to pull together in a more professional and cohesive manner has been an invaluable learning curve for team members.


Matlala Community Centre, Limpopo

The seven companies created during the programme were quite diverse, including African Women Services, which provides a gardening service and TTSKK Enterprise, which runs a car wash and trades livestock. A local entrepreneur was invited to a session to share some lessons with the learners.

Delt, Western Cape

Field trips provide an inside glimpse into how established businesses run and the group from the Masakhe Centre in Leiden, Delft had the opportunity to visit the Coke Factory. Facilitator Jo-Anne Dreyer reports that the women were interested to see the production line, which brought home how important this aspect is for any business. They could not resist asking some questions about the syrup (though of course no details were forthcoming about the recipe.) Mastercard volunteers Thaakirah van der Schyff, Letitia Solomons and Sam Elsmorecary joined the women on the tour.

The participants created six companies that sold a range of goods from food items such as takeaways and samosa to accessories, clothing, and detergents.

The Mastercard volunteers also visited some of the other sessions and shared some important information about running a business. These interactions also provided the participants with the opportunity to recount their business journeys as the course progressed and to reflect on the lessons they learned in each of the modules.

Facilitators also helped the companies to work on their portfolios of evidence, which was a requirement to receive the accredited certificates.



WiSTEM2D activations with Johnson & Johnson

Over 1500 primary and high school learners exposed to WiSTEM2D careers

Recognising that the need for STEM skills is rapidly increasing, and that people employed in STEM careers earn 26% more than other workers, J&J has partnered with JASA in 2018 to provide Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design (WiSTEM2D) opportunities for school learners in Gauteng and the Western Cape. Their aim is to inspire more girls to pursue studies and careers in WiSTEM2D.

Learners at Square Hill Primary and South Peninsula High School in the Western Cape and at Bonwelong Primary School and Eqinisweni Secondary School in Gauteng had interactive classroom sessions with J&J volunteers from all three business in South Africa. J&J also funded excursions to  the Science and Technological Advancement Centre and Sci-Bono Centre in Gauteng, and the Cape Science Centre.

Through this experience, the learners have been inspired by the diverse and exciting careers that could open up for them if they pursue studies in STEM2D fields. Thank you to J&J for the funding and thanks to all the volunteers who spent time with the students.




Catch Team Meraki’s presentation at Africa Regional COY 2018 here

Catch Team Meraki’s presentation at Africa COY 2018 here

Filmed by JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng, who was in the audience, the team ended with the wonderful advert they created for their magnifier screen and the audience was clearly engaged. Team Meraki are representing South Africa at the Africa regional Company of the Year Competition 2018, which is hosted by JA Ghana. The presentations took place yesterday, Thursday 6 December, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony this evening. We are holding thumbs for you Team Meraki!


Citi-funded Digital Enterprise Programme enlists students from three schools

Students from three high schools meet on Saturdays for successful Digital Enterprise Programme

Funded by Citi, students were pooled from Willomead Secondary in Lenasia, Nova Pioneer High in Ormonde and Curtis Nkondo in Soweto for a Digital Enterprise Programme that ran on Saturdays.

The sessions were held at Curtis Nkondo, which was the first of 27 schools of specialisation to be opened by the Gauteng Department of Education. The aim of these schools is to offer technical and vocational skills to high school pupils with a keen interest in engineering, math, science, ICT and commerce, entrepreneurship as well as performing arts and sports.

Learners formed three companies and were initially taken through the comprehensive Lean Canvas Model, which highlights the importance of problem solving in the process of developing products and services.

One of the participants in the programme, Celokuhle Ncayiyana, a student at Curtis Nkondo, who belonged to the company called Creative Legacy, explained that his team first wanted to make a photo booth but in the end decided to provide a photographic service. As stock controller he was responsible for trying to procure the materials needed but there were differences of opinion in the group as to what material would be best so in the end they decided to rather take pictures.

“I learnt that in life people are either with you or not with you and in our company everyone wanted to be a boss and give orders. No one wanted to do the work but at the end of the day everyone wanted to see the work produced. With that said I ended up creating a business selling snacks and a business where people can record in my studio.”

Ncayiyana went on to explain that the decision was made to liquidate the company at the end of the programme since not everyone was pulling their weight, which meant some members would have to take on several positions while others didn’t participate. The experience provided valuable lessons on the importance of choosing your company partners well and on what it takes to build a team.

One of the other companies, Oricals Corporation, developed a shock bracelet, which lightly shocks the wearer if they start drifting to sleep, which is particularly useful for academic and work environments. According to their company report: “The shock will not be painful and uses mostly short bursts of vibrations rather than comprising solely of actual electricity. This creates an actual shock rather than hurting the wearer.”

Is there anyone willing to test wear this self-correcting accessory?

The group was fortunate to have Rooksana Modan , CEO of Apex Development, attend some of the sessions to provide valuable insight into how to be successful in business.

Amahle Makwela is one of the students on this programmewho also joined the Molo Africa project, where 20 students spent 10 days building the body of a Sling 4 light aircraft, which has a capacity of four. The students are learning to fly and if sufficient funds are raised then the Molo Africa team plan to fly from Cape to Cairo, You can follow them on Facebook: 

On the left he is pictured with Programme Manager Terence Modiba and below is the plane body they built.


YES 4 YOUTH offers opportunities for career paths

YES 4 YOUTH is an awesome organisation that strives to equip youth with a toolkit to make a life for themselves, and be the person they have the potential to be.

YES is a collaborative economic enabler led by business with government and labour which aims to provide jobs for young people.

We encourage you to click this link and check them out.


Company of the Year winning team attend Youth Entrepreneurship Exchange

Meraki, school company team from McAuley House in Jhb, attended the Youth Entrepreneurship Exchange (YEEP)

 Thanks to generous sponsorship from Law Trust (@lawtrustinfosec), the Meraki team, who won the national Company of the Year competition 2018, could attend YEEP. This camp assisted them in their final preparations for JA Africa regional Company of the Year, which kicks off this Wed 5 December, in Ghana.

Over three days the participants, which also included @JASwaziland alumni, converged at @GEN22OnSloane to be exposed to design thinking, branding, finance, teamwork & pitching skills. They were divided into teams and had to come up with an idea that they pitched to a team of judges, with mentoring and coaching built into the programme.

JA South Africa MD Nelly Mofokeng and Programme Coordinator Elias Sebola were on hand to support the team and Nelly was also a member of the judging panel.



IT/ Coding workshops at Setshabelo and Mathlasedi primary schools 

Siyafunda is providing digital skills workshops at Setshabelo Primary School in Welkom and Mathlasedi Primary School in Krugersdorp

Digital skills workshops are being facilitated by JASA’s long-term partner Siyafunda over two days, where the students learn the basics of how to use a computer and are then exposed to the coding language Scratch. The hands-on approach enables the learners to code a game.

This is made possible through a partnership between JASA and the Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation, where the same cohort of learners at five schools in three provinces, will be offered programmes for six consecutive years, beginning this year with the group in Grade 7, with an emphasis on STEAM2D (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Manufacturing).

The workshops occurred at the Ndabeni, Beretta and Timbavati Combined primary schools in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga, on 8 and 9 November. In this last week of November Siyafunda is training learners at Setshabelo Primary School in Welkom and Mathlasedi Primary School in Krugersdorp.

The students were exuberant when expressing their delight at having the opportunity to take their first digital steps and were proud that in a short space of time they had progressed far enough to present their games to their fellow learners.

To see some of the students presenting in Acornhoek, click here, and for more information on the partnership pilot, click here.



Opening up young minds to the potential of STEM2D

Grade 7 learners get their first taste of coding through in-school STEM 2D partnership with Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation

The Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation is partnering with JASA to provide STEM2D Programmes to a cohort of learners, from five schools in three provinces, for six consecutive years, beginning this year when the group is in Grade 7.

This month the students are being exposed to digital skill workshops, conducted by long-term partner Siyafunda. The students not only get to learn the basics of how to use a computer but are also introduced to the coding language, Scratch, on the second day, where they learn to programme a computer game.

The workshops occurred at the Ndabeni, Beretta and Timbavati Combined primary schools in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga, on 8 and 9 November. Further workshops will take place later in the month at Setshabelo Primary School, Welkom and Mathlasedi Primary School in Krugersdorp.

By all accounts this experience has made a lasting impression of the students in Mpumalanga. In the interactive workshops, the emphasis was on learning through fun, and there was even time to play a tug-of-war. Students were so proud when they got to present how they had coded the games to work.

Siyafunda facilitator Lutfiyya Patel interviewed two students from Ndabeni Primary School. Ntsako says that even though it was a little hard, it was really fun and she was surprised how quickly she could understand enough to start coding. She is hoping to use this programme in the future and was happy to learn the basics of using a computer combined with learning the beginnings of a coding language. Another 13-year old in the class, Nolenbangu, also expressed her excitement at learning to code a game that she could then see in real-time. She hopes that she will have further opportunities to learn more coding, as she grows up.

Loads of interactive fun is built into the workshops.


For an overview of the project, and the progress made so far, see this earlier article:

Six-year pilot will expose 600 students to successive STEM2D Programmes