Future entrepreneurs celebrated

2018-02-08 06:00
Yamkela Giqaba and Songeziwe Dayimani, learners from Usasazo High School and members of the YES Club.

Yamkela Giqaba and Songeziwe Dayimani, learners from Usasazo High School and members of the YES Club.

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The Eskom Development Foundation, in partnership with the Education With Enterprise Trust (EWET), hosted a prize-giving ceremony in celebration of excellent youth entrepreneurship education on Thursday, 1 February 2018 at Usasazo High School in Khayelitsha, Western Cape. The ceremony was aimed at celebrating the province’s best performing schools in the 2017 Simama Ranta School Entrepreneurship Education Competition.

Usasazo High School was named as the Western Cape provincial winner of the competition, receiving a prize of R50 000. The annual competition identifies and celebrates South African schools that are exemplars in entrepreneurship education. The competition encourages young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career.

Simama Ranta rewards the top three schools in each province as well as the overall national winner of the competition from 28 finalists. To qualify for the competition, intermediate and secondary schools must run enterprise clubs that teach their learners the basics of starting and running successful businesses through practical application while responding to their respective communities’ socio-economic challenges.

“At Usasazo High School, entrepreneurship has not only been preached but practiced. Learners have been given opportunities to follow their passions. Learners have ideas and these ideas are nurtured. In 2017 we gave ourselves a challenge to become innovative and find new business ideas. We are very proud to announce that we now make 186 graduation gowns and we market these to our neighbouring schools. We expect these products to generate R80 000 each year for our YES Club,” says Songeziwe Dayimani, YES Club President at Usasazo High School.

The prize-giving event was held to recognise the province’s young people and their contribution to socio-economic development and to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship amongst in-school youth. Millions of young employable South Africans are unemployed and the Eskom Development Foundation and EWET run this programme to empower the youth to actively participate in the economy.

“Learners need to be more exposed to entrepreneurship. We need to inspire our learners to think creatively, encourage them not be afraid to fail, and motivate them to consider entrepreneurship as a career. As the YES society we commit to continue to support previous and current members,” says Kadima Eddy Kayembe, YES Club Advisor at Usasazo.

Eskom Social Development Project Manager, Thandi Nkonzo, commended the youngsters for considering entrepreneurship as a way out of the country’s economic jam that is youth unemployment. “With the enterprise clubs that you run in your schools, you have created a solid foundation from where you can learn and grow. You should see those clubs as your training for the future. It is entirely in your hands and you should consider yourselves ambassadors for self-employment in your communities and schools and try to inspire others through your work,” said Ms Nkonzo.

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