Strate has become one of the sponsors of an exciting initiative called iValue, which aims to promote entrepreneurship within previously disadvantaged schools, where selected qualifying learners will participate meaningfully in economic activity.
“Given that South Africa is confronted with high levels of unemployment, Strate did not hesitate to partner with iValue’s Entrepreneurship Programme to invest and empower learners so that they can successfully and sustainably contribute to the economy and provide for their families. The iValue Programme was ideally suited to achieve the investment in skills and socio-economic development that aligns with Strate’s objectives,” says Strate’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Tanya Knowles.
iValue explains that the concept of its Entrepreneurship Programme is to involve 20 grade 10 learners per school and follow them into grade 11 in a process that will enhance their entrepreneurial spirit.
Knowles explains: “As part of the programme design, the learners will get to understand entrepreneurship and life skills, and then develop a business plan. The five best plans will then be put to the test, as learners will implement their business ideas with start-up capital to run their small businesses successfully.”
At university level, with the Faculty of Management at the University of Johannesburg, two students completing their Bachelors of Commerce Degrees or Diplomas on Entrepreneurial or Small Business Management will support the growth of a group of ten learners. Two groups will be formed to benefit from a competitive environment. During the second year, each individual will have to present their business plan and the five more relevant and accurate per school will be provided a start-up, capital, which they will have to pay back at the end of the year.
In conclusion, Knowles says that iValue’s story of nuturing an enterprising spirit among young learners is one that needs to be acknowledged, given that only some 7% of successful grade 12 learners in South Africa find employment in the formal sector. “The future of our economy depends on how we as a nation raise and educate our youth. Therefore, the investment in education and skills transfer should be a non-negotiable item on every corporate agenda.”