JASA 2009 Alumnus Zaza Motha is the founder of POUT

JASA 2009 Alumnus Zaza Motha is the founder of POUT

It is important to have passion for what you do because tough times and challenges will present themselves.

“I was exposed to Junior Achievement South Africa through a Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development programme.  JASA’s programme gave me solid business principles but most importantly it was practical in its approach. Running a T-shirt printing business within a team of people with different views taught me how to separate personal emotions from business and to lead with confidence. Doing the JASA programme also proved to me that I can actually run my own business, manage a team and resources while delivering while making profit. 

“After completing the JASA programme, I went back to work as a journalist ,with a plan to learn the skills necessary within the corporate environment to run a business, as I felt that building on the experience that I had would make me a better business leader. I worked with resilience and an undying passion, remaining focused on my end goal. 

“When I felt that I had sufficient experience and was ready to move on I did so and launched POUT, a self-empowerment movement for young women, which is based on my life experience as a young woman in South Africa. 

“Junior Achievement taught me that it is important to surround yourself with people who are positive or who believe in your vision. POUT is my legacy. It is a forum to help young women realise their full potential by sharing inspiring stories, information and opportunities to reach their dreams, just as JASA helped me on my path to success.

Find out more about POUT and why Motha embarked on this journey by clicking here.


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Alumnus Jabulani Dlamini takes Orange Farm to Greener Pastures

Alumnus Jabulani Dlamini takes Orange Farm to Greener Pastures

“I’ve always been a Greenie Beanie [colloquial term for an environmentally conscious person] so it frustrated me when the illegal dumping site in Orange Farm, where I live, was growing out of control. Illegal dumping is widespread in most townships but so is the lack of productive space for things like playgrounds for kids, food security programmes and just beautiful spaces where residents can have picnics or informal social events. I have made it my life’s work to create these spaces and to begin in my home town.”

This is the story of a community leader from Orange Farm and then learner on the Youth Enterprise Development Programme offered in Orange Farm by facilitator, Lawrence Tlhapane.

 Dlamini’s relationship with JA South Africa spans more than two decades and he has always been an advocate of our programmes. In the late 1990s, after having attended one of our programmes years earlier, he recommended the JA South Africa Primary School programmes to other schools in Orange Farm, which resulted in us offering the JA More than Money programme to schools in Orange Farm. In 2013, Dlamini again advocated for our programmes and assisted our facilitators to mobilise out of work youth in Orange Farm to participate in the 20-week programme.
Dlamini has always been community-minded so when he came across a group of young primary school learners being housed in an aftercare programme in an icy community centre in winter, he felt it his duty to find a solution to obtaining better resources for the programme.
“They were doing amazing work at the Havho Mutshila Community Centre but how can a learner concentrate or stay healthy in such terrible conditions?” Dlamini explained. “So I met with centre manager Benjamin Nkosi and, together with eight other concerned community members, we registered a co-operative called Sidingulwazi, which means seeking knowledge in IsiZulu, to address a number of community challenges: This included improving the resources for the aftercare programme that served such a critical need in the community, addressing the matter of illegal dumping in Orange Farm, and teaching the co-operative members and the community at large the value of recycling. We also earned an income for ourselves and provided a source of income for unemployed community members.”
Sidingulwazi opened its doors on spring day of 2014 – an apt day to launch a waste management business. Together with Pik It Up, the team spent a week rolling out a cleaning campaign where 120 community members were taught how waste management can generate an income, by exposing them to recycling. The government’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) was also introduced to the community during this campaign. During the campaign the co-op made a profit of R5 000, which was invested into upgrades of the community centre ahead of the winter months.
The community’s cleaning campaign resulted in four dumping sites being cleared of waste. Two community groups, representing about 30 families, have adopted two of the open spaces and are using them as sustenance farms where onions, tomatoes, green beans and carrots are being farmed. The third space is being used for children’s recreation. In partnership with City Parks, play equipment was installed while in partnership with Pik It Up, 150 community members, run a food waste programme in the fourth open space. Pik It Up donated tools, protective uniforms and occupational health and safety training programmes to 10 team members, to ensure success.
Dlamini is a beacon of success in Orange Farm and uses his network to benefit the community as a whole.
“The JA South Africa programme helped me to develop my interpersonal skills and now I am more comfortable with delegating responsibilities to team members. As a result, we get more work done. The market research session was an eye opener. At start up, I thought I knew exactly what the market (my community) wanted because I was so invested in the needs of my community. However, the programme taught me to ask the right questions of my clients, resulting in a better service offering to them.”


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From unemployed mother to investor in community-based business

From unemployed mother to investor in community-based business

Dibuseng Phaloane, a graduate of the Absa-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme in 2015 in Orange Farm, Gauteng, tells her story.

“Being unemployed in South Africa is a reality I know all too well. I am a mother of two who wants more for her children than I was exposed to. I was unemployed for three years, which made me realise I do not want to be a statistic in this battle. Insanity is said to be the result of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result so I finally had to admit that the futile hunt for a job was over, but was not sure what was next?

How would I put food on my family’s table? Enter JA South Africa and their offer to provide experiential entrepreneurial skills training.

“I was a subsistence entrepreneur before joining the programme – for me to survive I started selling polony hampers in my community, with 41 different options. This kind of variety set me apart resulting in my ability to make 100% profit (purchase price of R70 and selling price of R140). The revenue enabled me to send my 10-year-old to a private school in Orange Farm, which caters to her learning needs, and costs R12,000 a year, excluding the transport cost of R300 per month.

“But often I was unable to make the monthly commitment to school fees, let alone living expenses, and I was constantly stressed out by the possibility that my child would be suspended from school. And then in an attempt to expand the reach of my business, I walked to the opposite end of Orange Farm marketing my meat business along the way. This is when I met Jabulani Dlamini at the Orange Farm Skills Centre. He was scheduled to attend the programme and was an advocate for the programme – introducing it to other out-of-work, out-of-school youth in Orange Farm. I am a true believer in fate!

“A few weeks into the programme I learned about alternative ways to grow my business and I increased my product range by also selling rainbow chicken hampers. Later, I saw the opportunity to take the same products and open my own store where, in addition to the raw meat products, I sold fast food using my own stock and the profit margins grew exponentially. This decision came off the back of a market research exercise I was encouraged to do on the programme. Now I was able to support my family’s needs as well as purchase equipment for my business. I bought a deep fryer and a fridge and I am planning to buy a bigger deep fryer, priced at R3,000, to address the needs of my growing business. My profits have now grown from about R3,000 to between R5,000 and R6,000 per month.

“The entrepreneurial bug has now bit. I’ve recently been exposed to an opportunity to sell furniture. My boyfriend, who was an unemployed carpenter, presented his business case to me and since I am not strong in financial acumen, I consulted a fellow student on the programme for guidance on this decision. After an assessment of the business case against my cash flow and savings, I am now able to provide my boyfriend with seed funding of R5,000.

“My fellow student commended me on my business systems when he assisted me with the decision to invest in my boyfriend’s business. During the programme I learned how to record daily, weekly and monthly sales in a more effective manner. So now, at the drop of a hat, I am aware of my business’ financial health. I also realise that I don’t have to do everything in the business and am creating joint ventures with other small business owners – especially those I met on the programme – to support me in areas of business management where I am not strong.

During the programme the participants went on a field trip to Alexandra and this is what Phaloane said about the experience:

“It’s business as usual on the streets of Alexandra. Manic doesn’t even begin to describe the scene as cars toot their hooters while blasting every sound imaginable. The taxi driver dodged his way through the traffic. Our destination was Alexandra, well known for producing prominent, respected entrepreneurs and top politicians. I was amazed by the area itself. There is no space in Alexandra for anything. How can one run a business in such a congested place? Despite the challenges, JASA creates a culture of entrepreneurship but how possible is it here?

I knew that it was important for me to be part of the field trip but I never thought that it would change the one factor I thought was an obstacle for me to open my own business – an office, business space. For me it could make or break my business.

“We visited different businesses that had one common thing, they are operated against all odds. I found it very amusing and amazing that Tumi the shoe polisher and Valentino the restaurant owner established their businesses in Alex. Vali’s restaurant is on top of a house – there is no space but Valentino manages to run a restaurant, bar and clothes shop in one congested area. He used what he could get hold of to build his empire and, yes, he survives.

If it were me I would’ve noted the potential disadvantages, risks and failure of starting a business in a place like Alex, where rats use rocks to sharpen their teeth.

“I realised that for one to be an entrepreneur, it starts within – passion, determination and vision may lead me to be a successful business woman. Like Lorenzo, he worked very smartly to be where he is today. Due to his hard work he managed to create jobs for more than 100 people. He is a mentor to his fellow employees and partners. I want to achieve. It’s important that I stop looking for short cuts and rather use what I have to build a respected undertaking company that will create employment for residents of Orange Farm. I truly treasure what JASA has taught me. With the skills I obtained I will be able to conduct myself in a proper manner that will assist me to run a profitable business. Slowly but surely I am going there.”


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Alumnus Jabu Sibiya’s business brings internet access to his community

Alumnus Jabu Sibiya’s business brings internet access to his community

“I had a business registered but that was as far as my understanding of business went, until I met JASA agent Zipporah Segabetla, who encouraged me to join the Youth Enterprise Development Programme, funded by Barclays. Joining, and comm itting to, the programme was the best decision I’ve ever made,” explains Jabu Sibiya, a graduate of the YEDP in Rustenburg, in the North West.

“Put yourself in the shoes of community members in Robega Village. Before we opened our business, they would have to get a taxi early in the morning, spend about R40 for the round trip into Rustenburg, then another R40 to go online at an internet café – understand what that means for someone who does not have any money and is desperately job hunting to put food on the table!

“I was that person! I had dreams of starting a business that would benefit my family and make life in Robega easier for those who live here. when I realised what a struggle it was to register my business, due to internet accessibility challenges, I knew I had the solution for my community and I was the best person to make internet access a reality for the community.”

Sibiya attended the YEDP in 2014. During the 20-week session he learned about banking – a new concept to him as the idea of banking was always daunting in the past. Until then, his only exposure to business was through Business Studies, a subject offered at school, but even so, his understanding of business was theoretical with no real practical appreciation.

However, since childhood entrepreneurship was always an aspiration. “I would see people on TV making lots of money from offering their immediate community a product or service they needed. That was my inspiration. My vision became stronger when I realised how tough the job market was ,when I completed high school and all my applications for positions I was suited for were not successful or I got no reply.”

Immediately following the YEDP programme, Sibiya identified five other learners on the programme whom he believed would offer great support and commitment. Together the six-member team set out to make the internet café he had envisaged for his community a reality.

Today, community members need only spend a few minutes walking to STM Internet Café and Academy where one of the six co-owners on duty will offer customised service based on the client’s need. Something the team identified during the market research module was that each community member has different needs and a different level of understanding of computers. The client would have access to the internet for a mere R15 per hour, along with computer literacy training.

“We teach our customers how to search the internet, type or update their CVs, or whatever other service they require our assistance with. We believe that when they learn by doing, the skills we teach them will stick”.

Sibiya is proud of the role he plays in this community. But he is even more proud of the role the business plays in the lives of the six co-owners. Being located along the main road in Robega, next to the biggest restaurant and bar, and close to the taxi rank, make it ideal for clients to gain access. As a result of this prime location and the hands-on personalised service each client receives, the business was able to expand within a short space of time.

At the certification event, graduates were provided with a USB containing contact details and brochures of incubator programmes with which JA South Africa has forged a relationship. Graduates are encouraged to contact incubators to take their businesses to the next level, which Sibiya and his team did, by applying for an expansion grant from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and attending workshops to support their growth aspirations.

We look forward to witnessing Jabu’s business grow from humble beginnings to being a beacon of light in the Robega community.

 


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Vibrant JASA alumnus Keneilwe Motshoeneng explores her talent for photography

Vibrant JASA alumnus Keneilwe Motshoeneng explores her talent for photography

Keneilwe Motshoeneng participated in the Enterprise Programme when she was in Grade 10 and then went on to complete other JASA programmes. While studying towards her BTech and Business Administration Degree Motshoeneng is running two companies: Keneilwe M Events and Pause Think and Reflect.

She also applied for an opportunity on the JA South Africa Facebook page to participate in the Power of 50, an Umuzi Photo Club initiative, in partnership with Vega School of Brand Leadership and the Da Vinci Institute. This innovative 12-month project develops 50 talented young people to become the next generation of creative professionals, combining essential artistic skills with on-the-job training and placement opportunities for graduates within the professional, creative industry.

Motshoeneng was inspired to apply as a result of the filmmaking conference she attended in 2010 in Bulgaria with JA and the International Management Institute. 

“The Umuzi Photo Club uses creativity to amplify the voices of the young and we, as the Power of 50, have the passion and drive to be the next generation of creative professionals. It has been an enjoyable rollercoaster ride of hard work and fun. Our biggest project was the Ke Nna Mang exhibition.”


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Thabo Malefane, JA Alumnus and business owner of Glowhouse Lighting

Thabo Malefane, JA Alumnus and business owner of Glowhouse Lighting

“In 2000 I participated in the Junior Achievement Enterprise Programme, where we made a substantial profit from selling the gel candles we manufactured.

Upon completion of the programme I continued manufacturing candles at night after I had finished schoolwork, sports and extra-mural activities.

“It wasn’t just making money that drove me. I thrived on the creative element and felt a great sense of fulfilment. After I finished school I put all my efforts into turning my enterprise into a business, discovering that my levels of motivation, faith and hope were infinite.

 Start your small business today and don’t give up tomorrow.

“I draw inspiration from what John C Maxwell said, “Success is when you have added value to yourself; its significance, however, is when you add value to others.” I find fulfilment in creating opportunities for others by running a thriving business.

“The first business training programme I attended was the Junior Achievement Enterprise Programme, which broadened my perspective on how to run a business and gave me the hunger to learn more.  I’ve since attended numerous other programmes and as a development practitioner, I also facilitate a few myself.

“Without a doubt, JA’s EP remains top of my list of comprehensive enterprise development programmes.”


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