JA More than Money on Mandela Day

Over 1000 children were reached in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 100th anniversary

This Mandela Day, JASA coordinated a nationwide campaign to reach close on 1200 Grade 7 learners, involving 16 schools in six provinces. With the help of trained volunteers, our facilitators guided the learners through five interactive sessions that introduce good financial habits, in the JA More than Money in a Day Programme, spanning around three hours.

The programme is designed to be fun, with interactive games and activities. The learners at Isu’Lihle Primary School in Zola, Soweto showed great excitement when JASA staff and volunteers arrived to start the workshops and their participation was enthusiastic was unflagging throughout the sessions.

With July being Savings Month, this is an apt time for primary school children to learn about how to manage money, particularly since the rate of savings and investment in South Africa is so very low. When children are encouraged to save from an early age they are far more likely to continue good financial habits throughout their lives and are more empowered to shape their futures constructively.

Snacks are neatly packed and ready for the break at Boschrand Primary School in Mataffin, Mpumalanga.

At Batlhalerwa Primary School in Phalane, North West the learners warmed up with some stretches before starting the first session.


The programme reached 11 Grade 7 classes in Gauteng, with two of these at Vulindlela Primary in Orange Farm.

Eight Grade 7 classes were taught at Isu’Lihle Primary in Soweto. EMS teacher David Mashanyu expressed the wish that the JA More than Money in a Day Programme could be held in the school every year since it provides the children with such a good revision of the financial literacy coursework they covered in the previous term and builds on this knowledge. He was impressed at how much the students enjoyed engaging with the material.


We appreciated the support of the Gauteng Department of Education, who joined JASA at Isu’Lihle to monitor how the programme was received. JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng (on the right) is photographed with Sinah Raseroka and Spykes Makoko, both from EMS, Johannesburg Central.

At Imperial Primary, in Mitchell’s Plain,Western Cape, it was warm enough today to do the programme in the courtyard.


In Limpopo the programme reached about 75 students at Thakgalang Primary in Blood River Village.


Thank you to all the schools who collaborated with JASA to make this day a success.




Award-winning entrepreneurship education leader  and JASA alumnus Thabo Serame 

Award-winning entrepreneurship education leader  and JASA alumnus Thabo Serame 

Thabo Serame is an award-winning entrepreneurship education leader who did a JASA programme in 2008. For over seven years he has invested his energy in developing youth, through initiatives with organisations such as Wits, EY, Investec, Absa and Youth Leadership & Entrepreneurship Development (YLED), where he currently serves as Director of Finance and Board Member.

Thabo is a seasoned management consultant working clients in sectors from education and banking to insurance and real estate. His entrepreneurial journey began in Grade 9, when he started a tech company. Then he moved on to run a student accommodation business called IDS Student Residences, a tourism and shuttle business – IDS Shuttles – and more recently a food and beverage business in the fames Vilakazi street, called IDS Eats. He also empowers people to understand the world of business, finance and leadership by contributing to UJ FM.

“Junior Achievement taught me about life skills, the norms and values of greatness and what entrepreneurship is. It taught me about personal branding and how I should represent myself as a brand, everywhere I am. Through JA I learned how I could  run my own business, offering innovative solutions to media and branding. 

“I have a vision to inspire and empower young and old minds to be the greatest they can be. By discovering that I have leadership skills I now know that I have a responsibility to deliver on my vision. Knowledge is power and JA is a platform that aims to inspire young minds to better themselves. 

Everyone has potential; unleashing that potential reveals how great a young person can be.

“Waking up on Saturdays each week and going to the programme meant that I was planting a seed for greater ventures.  I have carried this discipline through to my studies in Organisational Psychology and Anthropology as JA proved to me that everybody has potential and that it is when that potential is realised that success is guaranteed.

“I can confidently say that JA inspires and motivates young minds to be greater than they could ever imagine.”


Congratulations to the Company of the Year 2018 winners

The Company of the Year 2018 winners were chosen at the presentation and awards evening hosted by Citi

After two days of intensive strategy, finance and pitching workshops,the first presentation round led to six of the nine provincial teams being shortlisted.

These teams pitched their student businesses to a panel of JASA alumni judges in the final presentation and awards evening, hosted by Citi at their offices in Sandton on Thursday July 12.

The Company of the Year 2018 winning team was Meraki, from McAuley House, Johannesburg in Gauteng. Their programme is funded by Delta. The team was represented by Gugulethu Ngwenyama and Amohelang Molefi. In the photo below, they are together with our four judges.

In the next photo the winning team celebrate with JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng, Citi representative, Foreign Exchange and Money Market Dealer, Nemu Manjezi and proud JASA Programmes Coordinator, Elias Sebola.

Meraki produces a portable projector that doubles as a screen magnifier, which 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.


Dynasty, from Reahola Secondary School in Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State, who attended a programme funded by Investec,  took second place. The team was represented by Kelebokgile Hlalele and Bonolo Tshabalala.

Dynasty use matchsticks to make coasters that can be customised to suit their clients’ tastes. 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.

In third place was O’ My Garden from Northlands Girls High School in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Their programme was funded by Citi and the team was represented by Caitlin Christopher and Tamzyn Naidoo. They sell glass jars containing succulents, planted in soil layered above pebbles and then 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.


The other three teams that made the shortlist of six included:

  • A-Team Productions from Lentegeur High School in the Western Cape, from a programme funded by Citi.
  • Eleven Levels, from Boresetse High, Barkly West in the Northern Cape, from a programme funded by Investec.
  • Tswarenang, from Sandtonview, Johannesburg in Gauteng, from a programme funded by General Electric’s Londvolota Fund.

Welcome addresses by JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng, JASA Board Chair Dolly Mokgatle and Citi’s Nemu Manjezi inspired the students to continue to shape their destinies.


Vumile Msweli, who runs Hesed Consulting, delivered a powerful address where she told stories from her own life and career. Also a JASA alumni, Msweli is a role model on how you can direct your career path and succeed, despite the odds. At times, while she was talking, there was a hushed silence followed by gasps of awe.

Thank you to our wonderful judges, all JASA alumni, as mentioned, who gave the participants constructive feedback in the Q&A after each presentation. They were:

  • Nombasa Hlathi, Cash Product Manager, Treasury and Trade Solutions Team, Citi
  • Sherishnie McDonald, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and runs her own successful food and beverage business in Pretoria
  • Fulufhelo Miswe, a businessperson in the property and transportation industry in Alexandra, Johannesburg
  • Thabo Serame, award-winning entrepreneurship education leader in organisations including Wits, EY, Investec, Absa and Youth Leadership & Entrepreneurship Development (YLED), where he currently serves as Director of Finance and Board Member


Thabo Serame also gave some useful tips to the learners, as he handed out the awards. Having so many alumni speaking and involved in COY made the event extra special.

The first part of the event was MC’d by JASA Programmes Manager Terence Modiba and then actress and television and radio presenter Candice Modiselle took over for the latter half. Being a JASA alumni from 2011, she recounted the decisive impact the high school programme had made on her life, her choices and her confidence to approach life from an entrepreneurial perspective. She was excited to see JASA Programmes Coordinator Bonga Kumalo, whom she remembers fondly as the facilitator at her school.


We are grateful to Citi for our long-standing partnership. Not only do they support JASA by funding programmes but this is the fourth year in a row that they have hosted our national Company of the Year. As part of the event, the internationally renowned Mzansi Youth Choir performed.

The regional JA Africa Company of the Year 2018 will be held in Ghana in December, represented by four members from our winning team, Meraki. They will be accompanied by a chaperone on an all-expenses paid trip to Ghana, as well as receiving a cash equivalent prize for their school.

For all the photos of the event please click through to the Flickr album:




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.


Mentor on a JASA programme

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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



Seven JASA Alumni pitch to a panel at We Connect South Africa

JASA Alumni pitch their businesses to a panel of women at We Connect

On May 30, seven JASA alumni had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a judging panel of We Connect South Africa members, at their conference hosted at EY in Sandton. On June 1st the three entrepreneurs with the most promising businesses will be awarded cash prizes by We Connect.

This is a valuable opportunity for them to practice pitching their businesses in one minute and gain constructive feedback from established businesswomen. In addition, they are fortunate to be invited to attend this conference hosted for members of We Connect South Africa.

WEConnect International helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. They do this by linking their members to multinational corporate buyers.