According to Youth Enterprise Development Strategy 2013 – 2023, the youth constitute 41,2% (14 to 35 years) of the South African population, but the number of young people involved in entrepreneurial activity remains extremely low at 6% of the total youth population.
There is no doubt that accelerating entrepreneurship among young people will have a positive impact not only on the social platform of bringing equity in the economy, but also by raising the levels of the overall economic indicators of South Africa.
To help the government achieve its mandate to accelerate entrepreneurship, Strate has become a sponsor of a Valued Citizens Initiative called iValue, which is an entrepreneurship programme that gives 20 grade 10 learners from Kwena Molapo High School near Lanseria a foundation of business management and entrepreneurship.
Since the launch in April 2014, learners have been empowered to understand and apply entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and principles in their entrepreneurship projects, as well as identify viable entrepreneurial opportunities within their school communities.
In a report, iValue said that the programme has shown notable progress in terms of changing the attitude of the learners. iValue said it firmly believes that the lessons focused on entrepreneurial character have prepared its learners both emotionally and mentally to deal with the content of entrepreneurship. It said, “We are convinced that the iValue Programme will reach its objectives by ensuring that learners become solution orientated, creative thinkers, responsible and able to manipulate entrepreneurial opportunities within their school community.”
The report also referred to a session in the programme where learners got the opportunity to interact with second year Entrepreneurship Students from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and focus on the role of Emotional Intelligence and Self-Leadership in Entrepreneurship.
It said, “UJ students brought the practical aspects of the two as they are currently involved in entrepreneurship activities in their day-to-day lives as part of their practical lessons. They emphasised the fact that Emotional Intelligence in entrepreneurship is non-negotiable, as one is required to knock at different doors every day and interact with different people.”
Bringing both energies (university students and grade 10 learners) together was really revitalising. “Our beneficiaries believed that in order to run a successful business, one needs to work first to gain extensive experience to sustain the business. On the other hand, the second year entrepreneurship students firmly believe that joining the workforce is optional, but one can run a successful business straight away after completing his/her studies,” the iValue report added.
Looking ahead, the learners can be expected to continue building their foundation of knowledge about business management and entrepreneurship. Next year, each individual will have to present their business plans, five of which will be chosen to receive start-up capital that they will have to pay back at the end of the year.