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.


Kliptown Youth Enterprise Development Programme Applications

Spaces still available for the Youth Enterprise Development Programme in Kliptown

If you live in the area and you want to apply, please join the final briefing session on Tuesday 15 January at 10am at the Kliptown Youth Project, 49 Station Road, Kliptown. For enquiries, please call Thapelo Siasia on 011 528 8670.

Congratulations to Gauteng graduates of the Mastercard-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme 2018

Well done Gauteng YEDP Class of 2018!

On Thursday 26 July, 128 Gauteng-based young women graduated from the coursework component of the JASA Youth Enterprise Development Programme. Many of these women rented gowns for the ceremony that was generously hosted by SAP at their offices in Woodmead.

“Together with likeminded organisations like JASA, we can advance opportunities for young South African women by helping them develop the skills and expertise they need to thrive as entrepreneurs, in turn empowering them to better able to provide for themselves and their families. This creates knowledge transfer and employment opportunities for their community, too”                                                                                                                 – Mark Elliott, Division President for South Africa at Mastercard.

Mastercard has partnered with JA South Africa for the past eight years, reaching 2 500 young women during this time. 

In the first six years, Mastercard sponsored the high school Enterprise programme and in the past two years they have been sponsoring the out-of-school Youth Enterprise Programme, aimed at young adults. There are also Mastercard-funded programmes running in the Western Cape and Limpopo and a further 50 or so women will be graduating in these regions.

The Gauteng participants attended classes at four community centres run by Siyafunda, which is the key implementing partner. In addition to providing venues, Siyafunda also conducts the computer skills training. Graduates from the programme receive a NQF level 4 Services Seta-accredited Youth Enterprise Development Certificate and the Intel Learn Easy Steps Digital Literacy Certificate. Here are some of the staff members of our implementing partner, Siyafunda,together with JASA alumnus Nthabiseng Tomotomo.

In his welcome address, Sunil Geness, Director of Government Relations and CSR at SAP urged the graduates not to be afraid to think big. He explained how SAP started when a few engineers left IBM to start their own company in the 1970s. Since then, the business has grown to have a presence in 180 countries.

JASA Board Chair Dolly Mokgatle gave an example of another global company with humble beginnings. These days Jo Malone cosmetics are sold globally under parent company Esteé Lauder but it all began with a women dabbling in her kitchen to mix ingredients for body lotion.

“Empowering young women to rise above systemic challenges and be able to meaningfully participate in the economy through experiential entrepreneurship training and mentorship is key to developing self-sufficient communities”                                             – Nelly Mofokeng, Managing Director at JA South Africa

All of the Gauteng graduates have committed to the mentoring phase, which happens over the next six months. This will assist them to tackle some of the challenges start-up businesses face, such as accessing finance and markets beyond their communities and refining their products.

In addition to being assisted to start sustainable businesses, alumni are exposed to further opportunities through the JASA network. Nthabiseng Tomotomo is a 2017 alumnus who had the opportunity to pitch at a We Connect conference, as an example.

She spoke at the graduation ceremony, explaining how being an employee had been frustrating for her. Wanting to start a business, she joined the closest JASA programme in 2017, which meant commuting from Soweto to Katlehong to attend classes. Her commitment has paid off as she builds her business, Baby Sonic, which delivers baby and personal hygiene products to busy mothers, as the primary target market.

We honour the hard work of all the graduates and send out a big congratulations!

Here are some photos taken at the event by photographer Melvin Modiselle, who came along with her mother Evelyn, who was a graduate.


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.”



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.


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


The indelible impression of JASA volunteers

Our corporate donors extend their partnerships with JASA in myriad ways. In 2017, many of our 117 volunteers were staff members of funders, who served as mentors on the programmes.

National Programmes Manager Terence Modiba explains: “The ideal is for volunteers to get involved on topics related to their field of expertise, which could range from financial management to marketing.” In this way, the material covered in the programme comes alive for the fledgling entrepreneurs.

In the Western Cape, around ten volunteers from 5one, a company owned by sponsor Mastercard, showed dedication by ensuring that at least two of them were present for every session of the Youth Enterprise Development Programme (YEDP). The venue was the Mfuleni Development Centre and the programme was targeted at women under 35. Having support throughout the programme, including the field trip and graduation, made a strong impression on the participants.

Each employee can spend five days a year volunteering and Thaakirah Van der Schyff opted to use these time to attend several YEDP sessions, where she not only shared her story but also assisted the participants with gaining mastery over business processes, particularly on how to manage profit and losses, and time. She even went so far as to co-facilitate in some sessions.

“I told my story since I also came from a poor background and I took the participants through my educational process and how I managed to go to university on a scholarship, with assistance coming from unexpected processes. It was good to be involved in this network of women who raise each other up. The power of this programme may seem small but it should not be underestimated,” explains Thaakirah.

Mastercard has chosen to fund programmes aimed at women, in recognition that they need support to better their lives, regardless of their background. “I would encourage everyone to go through a programme like this to understand how to run a business,” Thaakirah added.

She also went along on the field trip to a Pick n Pay distribution centre, which has sections that empower women. YEDP participants were introduced to the system and what it takes to be eligible to be a small supplier. To top it off, Thaakirah and her colleagues won the internal CEO Force for Good Award for their volunteering contribution and promptly donated the prize money of US$500 to JASA. Thank you Thaakirah and colleagues!

Thaakirah wears a red scarf

Recruitment is open for five Transnet-funded Youth Enterprise Development programmes in North West, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Western Cape

Recruitment is open for five Transnet-funded Youth Enterprise Development programmes in North West, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Western Cape

Transnet will be funding five Youth Enterprise Development Programmes, for out of school youth, to be run at the following community centres:

North West

  • Rustenburg and Klerksdorp at the PASA and Kgatelapele Skills Development Centres
  • Contact JASA North West Agent Zipporah Segabetla: 0824847673


  • River Cross Village, Civil Society Development Initiative
  • Contact JASA Limpopo Agent James Sekele: 0714008535

Eastern Cape

  • Buffalo City, East London, Mdantsane Youth Centre
  • Contact JASA Eastern Cape Agent Lulama Sidloyi: 0761977541

Western Cape

  • Mitchells Plain, Masakhe Youth Centre
  • Contact JASA Western Cape Agent Elena Meyer: 0827806280

Do you fulfil the following criteria?

  • Do you live close enough to one of these centres to commit to attending the programme once or twice a week for the next six months?
  • Are you between 18 and 35?
  • Are you out of school – unemployed or self-employed?
  • Do you have Grade 10 education or up?
  • Are you able to read and write in English?
  • Are you unsure of how to start a business but you have an idea?
  • Or, have you started a business but are struggling to develop it?

If this describes you, then Transnet invites you to apply for the Junior Achievement South Africa (JA South Africa) Youth Enterprise Development Programme.

This course will empower you to pursue your business ideas in 20 incubator-style sessions that take you through the process of starting up, developing, and managing your own business. The insights you gain into what makes a business successful will then be applied. You will:

  • Develop your product or service 
  • Plan your business and create business functions
  • Carry out operations planning and management
  • Take control of the finances and learn about funding options
  • Create a strong brand
  • Learn to sell and market and how to apply market research
  • Improve your interpersonal skills
  • Gain confidence to pursue your dreams and become an opportunity maker.

If you want to apply, don’t delay, contact the agent in your area as soon as possible since the programmes will commence this month.

Graduates will receive an NQF level 4 Seta Accredited Youth Enterprise Development Certificate.

Youth Enterprise Development Programme in Cato Manor, KZN, in 2017

Mastercard-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme is recruiting women 18-35 at selected community centres

Mastercard-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme is recruiting women 18-35 at selected community centres in Gauteng, Western Cape and Limpopo

Do you have a great business idea? Do dream of becoming an entrepreneur?

  • Are you a woman between 18 and 35?
  • Are you out of school – unemployed or self-employed?
  • Do you have Grade 10 education or up?
  • Are you able to read and write in English?
  • Are you unsure of how to start a business but you have an idea>
  • Or, have you started a business but are struggling to develop it?

If this fits you, then Mastercard invites you to apply for the Junior Achievement South Africa (JA South Africa) Youth Enterprise Development Programme, in partnership with Siyafunda CTC.

This course will empower you to pursue your business ideas in 20 incubator-style sessions that take you through the process of starting up, developing, and managing your own business. The insights you gain into what makes a business successful will then be applied. You will:

  • Develop your product or service
  • Plan your business and create business functions
  • Carry out operations planning and management
  • Take control of the finances and learn about funding options
  • Create a strong brand
  • Learn to sell and market and how to apply market research
  • Improve your interpersonal skills
  • Gain confidence to pursue your dreams and become an opportunity maker.

…. and much, more.

You will also come away with basic computer literacy skills, taught by Siyafunda.

Graduates will receive an NQF level 4 Seta Accredited

Youth Enterprise Development Certificate and an

Intel Learn Easy Steps certificate.

The programme will be run at six community centres (see below) and applicants can contact facilitators to pick up application forms.


Ivory Park Riendzo Development Centre (@riendzo on Facebook)

8712 Freedom Drive Ivory Park Fire station, 1685,

Ishmael Sephiri, 083 660 2119 / 011 051 8801

Olievenhoutbosch - Olievenhout Development Association (

Ingrid Ramabu 082 972 9260

Palmridge SiyafundaCTC, Palmridge, Ekurhuleni (

72 Celtis Street, Palmridge, 1458  

Themba Itimu /Faiza Xaba 071 842 5079 / 082 947 8177

Heidelberg Lesedi Coaching and Development

2 Madagascar St, Obed Nkosi Section, Ratanda Heidelberg, 1441,

Sarah Mahlaba 076 794 9563


Limpopo (near Polokwane)

Ga-Matlala Setumeng Vexospark (, Moremi Sello 079 380 8282


Western Cape (Cape Town)

Mfuleni Development Centre, 6686 T Tokwana road, Ext 6, Mfuleni, Muneer Letlala 072 918 4935

Criteria for entry:

1.     Female between the ages of 18 and 35

2.      At least Grade 10 education 

3.      Read and write in English

If you have any questions please contact

“Throughout the 20-week programme I was implementing what I was learning. After the session on market research surveys I drew one up and got great feedback to improve our business. The course also taught me about business plans, finance and accessing funding.

Annwen Jordan, co-founder of Gauteng company Joe4Real Productions, which assists musicians and composers

Mastercard-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme Graduation 2017

Mastercard funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme graduation

Funded by Mastercard, the 20-week JA South Africa Youth Enterprise Development Programme targeted 210 women in three provinces. The graduation ceremony for Gauteng was held in Johannesburg on 5 July, where more than 160 out-of-school, unemployed or self-employed young women between the ages of 18 and 35 graduated from the programme. The Limpopo graduation was on 11 August, followed by the Western Cape on August 22.

Graduates from the programme receive a NQF level 4 Services Seta Accredited Youth Enterprise Development Certificate and the Intel Learn Easy Steps Digital Literacy Certificate, and an opportunity to participate in a six-month mentorship programme, which will provide them with additional business support while they start formal enterprises.

“Entrepreneurs characteristically have ambition, determination and a flair for original ideas. However, many lack the business expertise required to develop these into commercially-viable ventures,” says Nelly Mofokeng, managing director at JA South Africa. “A key focus of our programme is to help equip young women with the skills to launch and grow their own businesses, and instill the discipline of earning a living, saving, spending and investing.”

This initiative empowers women to pursue entrepreneurial ventures of their own and over the 20-week programme, the women participated in theoretical and practical sessions focused on business theory, market research, financial and business management, sales and marketing, computer literacy and business funding. They also gained practical interpersonal skills and business experience by starting up and managing their own businesses.

Speakers at the event, from left to right, Annwen Jordan, graduate, Zaza Motha, guest speaker, Thuli Khubeka, graduate, Priscilla More, Graduate, Anolia Lusunzi, graduate, Dolly Mokgatle, JA South Africa Board Chair, Nelly Mofokeng, JA South Africa MD, Mark Elliott, Divisional President, Mastercard Southern Africa

Lydia Makgoba, a 29-year-old who attended the programme in Diepsloot, says: “I see myself owning a baby clothing manufacturing company with shops selling my brand locally and internationally so this programme is exactly what I needed. It helps young South African women like me who would like to be entrepreneurs by providing us with important skills such as financial literacy that we need to succeed.”

Annwen Jordan co-founded Joe4Real Productions with Jonah Zacheus. They assist musicians and composers with music administration, publishing, production and distribution. She comments: “Some people hire accountants and other people to handle various aspects but it is beneficial for an entrepreneur to know these processes so that you don’t get exploited.”

Through the 20-week programme, she was implementing what she was learning. After the session on market surveys she drew one up and sent it to musicians signed to Joe4Real. “I got great feedback from the surveys, which helped us improve our business.” She also found learning about business plans, finance and accessing funding useful.

Anolia Lusunzi started Anolia’s Beauty Salon in 2015 and has begun empowering members of her community by training them. This enterprise development programme has assisted her to run her business more effectively, especially when it comes to managing her finances and cash flow. She also gained a better understanding of how to craft a business plan for future growth. Lusunzi’s vision is to gain the funding and assistance required to open branches across the whole of Gauteng and Limpopo and to have her course accredited. She is excited about how the mentorship aspect of the programme will assist her to make her dream a reality.

Our guest speaker at the Gauteng graduation, Zaza Motha, is a JA South Africa alumni and founder of POUT, an inspirational and aspirational media platform for stories, opportunities and information that equips young women in going after their dreams and being the best they can be.

According to the 2017 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, women account for only 19.1 percent of business owners in South Africa, and have a low rate of entrepreneurial activity, with only seven percent of working age women in the labour force engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activities compared to 11.6 percent for men.

Thuli Khubeka of Green Leaf Cooperation was one of four graduates who gave presentations on how they have utilised the knowledge gained in their start-ups.

“South Africa’s resourceful women are one of its biggest assets, yet it is evident that South African women’s full potential and value as entrepreneurs and business owners are yet to be unleashed,” says Mark Elliott, division president, Mastercard Southern Africa. “The JA South Africa Programme is just one of the partnerships we have established to dismantle the structural obstacles and biases that impede female entrepreneurship so that women can play an enlarged role in South Africa’s economic growth story.”

Youth Enterprise Development Programme Gauteng Graduation