Tebang Ntsasa, Entrepreneur, Youth Mentor and JA South Africa Alumnus 2008

Tebang Ntsasa, Entrepreneur, Youth Mentor and JA South Africa Alumnus 2008

I never saw myself as an entrepreneur but that all changed after my Junior Achievement experience!  

“In 2008 I was in Grade 11 when I participated in Junior Achievement South Africa’s Life Skills and Mentorship Programme, funded by First National Bank. The sessions were held at FNB Bank City in Johannesburg every Saturday. When I started my JASA journey I was doing science subjects at school and entrepreneurship seemed like a Greek word to me. All I wanted to do after matric was study information technology.

“Our mini-company launched during the programme was called Synergy and we sold personalised bracelets and key rings. As the personalised bracelets sold better than the key rings and, as General Manager of our company, I made an educated decision to invest more money into the bracelets.   Our mini-company was extremely profitable and after only five weeks of sales, we managed to make a net profit of over R11 000!

“I never saw myself as an entrepreneur but that all changed after my Junior Achievement experience!  The programme made me realise my love for business and it also taught me that anything is possible in life.  What is important is that you believe in yourself and that you have the confidence that you will be able to achieve your goals.  I also met my current business partner, Thabo Serame, during the JASA programme.

“Growing up with so many dreams and goals, I am proud to say that today I am an entrepreneur and that one of my main aims in life is to create jobs.  I am passionate about youth development, and having volunteered during the LSM programmes in 2010 and 2011, I realised the impact that the JASA programmes have in cultivating young entrepreneurs.  I am now co-founder of TT Digital, a consulting and incubating company, along with my business partner.  I also serve as project administrator for the Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development Programme.

“I would like to thank JASA for introducing me to entrepreneurship. If it wasn’t for the LSM Programme, I might have been stuck in a career I hated today.”

Christill Cave – Entrepreneur and JA South Africa Alumnus 2009

Christill Cave – Entrepreneur and JA South Africa Alumnus 2009

I have connected with so many prestigious companies and people as a result of my JASA programme

“Back in my high school days I had the opportunity to participate in the Enterprise Programme in 2009. I was in Grade 10 at Marianridge Secondary School. We sold a variety of products such as diaries, pens, sweets etc. I performed two roles within our mini-company, that of stock controller and assistant sales manager.

“After the programme, I received the Best Sales Person award and having my JASA certificate has opened a lot of doors for me. I have connected with so many prestigious companies and people as a result of my JASA programme. The programme allowed me to learn about myself. It also helped me realise what I’d like to achieve as I got older.

“The JASA programme taught me a lot about business ethics, business planning and management, sales and marketing, problem solving and decision making, teamwork, communication skills and career exploration. This made me realise that I would love to start my own organisation in future that would help to educate young people. God has really blessed me with the ability to do this and I’m living a purpose driven life.

“That was the birth of my organisation; Youth In Action. Since then, I have registered my organisation and we are officially known as Youth In Action Africa. I am inspired by serving and empowering young people.  I’m currently studying towards a Bachelor of Public Relations Degree at Midrand Graduate Institute, founder of Youth In Action Africa & a Kingdom Ambassador. This wouldn’t have come true if it weren’t for JASA. I’m truly honoured and grateful for the experience.  My work with young people has been the greatest achievement and I highly recommend JASA.

“I am also busy working on my construction company at the moment; this will be launched in 2015. The construction company will employ disadvantaged women who don’t have matric and can’t afford to support themselves financially. I’m a big supporter of women’s empowerment, and since there aren’t many women in the construction industry, it has always been a vision of mine to bring more young women into it.

“Whenever I am asked about my success, I always recommend and give credit to JASA. I hope to work with JASA one day as I really believe in the work they are doing.”

Nombasa Hlathi is the Cash Product Manager in Treasury and Trade Solutions Team at Citi

Nombasa Hlathi, Cash Product Manager in Treasury and Trade Solutions Team at Citi.

She is on the Citi leadership and development programme and is a member of the Emerging Leaders Advisory Forum. She also takes an active role in Citi Foundation initiatives and most importantly is a JASA Alumnus!

In 2018, Hlathi was a judge at Company of the Year in Johannesburg.

Sherishnie McDonald, Entrepreneur and 1993 JA Alumnus

Sherishnie McDonald, Entrepreneur and 1993 JA Alumnus

Sherishnie McDonald holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree. She had her first taste of business doing a JASA programme in Durban in 1993, where she achieved the highest sales and held the position of accountant. She has worked in the UK and now runs her own successful food and beverage business in Pretoria. She is also currently studying part time toward a degree in English Literature and volunteers her time to support the Cheshire Children’s Home and Wet Nose.

Chanel Srininvasan, Owner, Cre8tive Couture Beauty Salon & Spa

Chanel Srininvasan, Owner, Cre8tive Couture Beauty Salon & Spa and JA South Africa Alumnus 2008

“I remember eagerly registering for the JASA programme, as a Grade 10 learner at Kingsway High School. Three years ago I started  ‘Cre8tive Couture’, an exciting new concept in the contemporary nail and beauty market. With a constantly growing team of around 150 sales representatives nationally, we pride ourselves on  running professional training programmes and workshops to upskill and ultimately create jobs for up-and-coming stylists.

“JASA gave me the confidence to start my own business and taught me the most crucial lesson I have learnt to date; that a well-planned marketing strategy is the core to success. Utilising social media and viral advertising, I have managed to create brand awareness and develop a reputable name for my business.

“I read in Forbes Magazine that before dreaming about the future or making plans you need to articulate what you already have going for you. As I complete my Business Law degree I know that it was my JASA experience that gave me the confidence I needed to do so.

“Investing in JASA is investing in the future, as young minds are given invaluable entrepreneurial skills to help them find their way as they mature from learner to a productive South African adult.”

Katleho Madikeng, Chairperson, Sisonke Entertainment

Katleho Madikeng, Chairperson, Sisonke Entertainment and JA South Africa Alumnus 2011

“The JA Entrepreneurship Academy Programme that I participated in last year has already made such a difference in my life. I was chosen from there to take part in the Enke Leadership Forum, where we were asked to begin a community project to alleviate some of the problems we saw around us.

“Substance abuse and crime are destroying the youth in my community, so I decided to start Sisonke Entertainment. We engage young people between the ages of nine and fifteen in free extra lessons and community activities like board games and soccer.

“Every Saturday about 40 young people come together at my school, Kgola-Thuto Secondary School, in Qwa-Qwa. It’s a neutral space so people feel comfortable enough to discuss their problems with their peers and we’ve been able to refer those that need help to Beacon Of Hope for counselling.

“I believe that we have the power to change our communities, by taking responsibility for our education and our learning. Being given the opportunity to take on leadership roles, like I was able to through my Junior Achievement experience, encourages people to explore creative options and find solutions.

“I am very honoured to have been chosen as one of the Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young People To Watch.  I’ve also attended the African Leadership Academy Winter Camp and appeared on an Etv documentary about Sisonke Entertainment. From here I want to do well in school so that I can study nuclear medicine at the University of Pretoria.

“When I go into business I will be amongst the business people known for operating with integrity, carrying my Junior Achievement experience with me throughout my life.”

Zandi Nkabinde, Consultant, Facilitator & Assessor

Zandi Nkabinde, Consultant, Facilitator & Assessor and JA South Africa Alumnus 1986

“When I entered the Junior Achievement programme I thought that the only path available to me was social work but the programme unlocked the entrepreneurial spark in me. It uncovered my passion for accounting and provided the grounding I knew I would one day need if I was to start and run my own company.

“Being allowed to make mistakes within the  mini-company was a great way to really understand business without having to face the costly ramifications of real-world commerce.  I believe in this programme so much that I have now returned to it as a Facilitator and comparing the material for the Mini Enterprise Programme to materials I use when training in companies, I am blown away by how relevant and concise it is. I could almost use it to train in corporates!

Grab this opportunity with both hands.

“I entered the programme and was determined to prove to everyone that I could make it. I now hold an accounting qualification and run my own consulting business, so I guess that I have proven my point!  My message to anyone involved with Junior Achievement is to grab this opportunity with both hands!”

Masanda Magaqa, Sole Director, MasMag

Masanda Magaqa, Sole Director, MasMag and JA South Africa Alumnus 2007

In business it’s never smooth sailing but hard work pays off.

“I come from a family of business people but I had to find a way to kick-start my own path into business. I participated in a Junior Achievement programme in 2007 where I filled the role of Financial Manager on a project to sell lip balm to our teenage peers. This was the stepping-stone that sparked my interest in the business world.

“The programme exposed me to what has to be considered when setting up a business and the trials and tribulations to get your product to market. When we started we faced many problems including failed products and mistakes in ordering packaging, which required immediate action.

“It is through this programme that I experienced the difficulty of having to come up with an original and creative business idea, formulating a business plan and how to effectively deal with group dynamics. I have recently registered my own company and believe that the knowledge I gained from Junior Achievement and my studies thus far will see me make a great success of it.

“I include my JASA certificate in my CV as Junior Achievement is an internationally recognised programme that is renowned for building young entrepreneurs that are ideally positioned to make an indelible mark in the business world.  I am proud to count myself among its alumni.”

Gift Mahenya, Owner, GM Events and JA South Africa Alumnus 2003

Gift Mahenya, Owner, GM Events and JA South Africa Alumnus 2003

I came to realise, through the mentorship I received during the programme, that all of us can achieve and be counted as contributing members of our community.

“I completed the Enterprise Programme when I was in Grade 12 in 2003. What I learned changed my mindset so that when I entered the workplace I was able to identify an opportunity when I saw it.

“I went to work as a Sales Manager at an event hire company. The company often received enquiries for an event organiser so I started thinking about meeting their need. I started an event organising company and negotiated with the hiring company to ensure that I could remain their Sales Manager and run my business at the same time. My company fills any requests for events, for amongst others, year-end functions, kid’s parties, weddings and 21st birthday parties.

“Junior Achievement set me on my path to success by showing me that if you never give up you will reap the rewards at the end.”

Keagile Maite Makgoba, Co-owner, Playtime Parties and JA South Africa Alumnus 2008

Keagile Maite Makgoba, Co-owner, Playtime Parties and JA South Africa Alumnus 2008

“I took part in the Enterprise Programme in 2008 and it really opened my eyes to what I was capable of achieving. Our company elected to sell  party packs  at our schools. There was more than one group selling the packs so we got an insight into the real world of business, where you may have a similar product to your competitors but have to devise a way to position yours differently.

“I was inspired by my JA experience and starting selling sweets and chocolates at school for extra money and it was from there that the idea to open Playtime Parties was born. I am currently studying towards my BA Corporate Communications degree but I learned all my business skills through the JASA programme.  We learned  important business fundamentals such as  how to work with people and the steps for growing your ideas into reality.  

I learnt all my business skills through the JASA programme.

“Being a student and having a business is a challenge but it is one that I will overcome as my future depends on it. The programme material I received on the Mini Enterprise Programme is always with me as it guides me in the right direction and to this day I am grateful for my JASA experience.”