A GROUP of 12 learners from gr. 3 to gr. 6 of the Nozala Primary School in Bloemfontein have completed two months of the one-year basic and practical entrepreneurship skills training programme. This children’s business programme, known as BizKidz, was officially launched in May and is a community social investment initiative run by Young Entrepreneurs, a Bloemfontein-based company. This is a flagship project designed for learners under the age of 15 years. The participants receive hands-on training on invaluable business, life and financial literacy skills, equipping them with the necessary experience and knowledge for when they start their own micro-enterprise at their tender age. The 12 learners attended training once a week for an hour at the school’s laboratory. Through the programme’s initiative, children are trained in business skills, develop business literacy, financial literacy and basics in money management, as well as training in workplace readiness skills. Thobile Maloka, of the sponsor, said these 12 learners were chosen based on their potential and ability to understand the application of business principles. Each child received tools which enhanced his or her understanding of the application of business skills. “We are trying to cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship and create it as a very attractive career choice. We also try to encourage children to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice,” she said. Maloka said this children’s business programme had been promoted in South Africa because of the 50% rate of youth unemployment. “The main objective and idea behind the programme is to allow the children to start a ‘real’ business that can sustain itself throughout their high school years and even thereafter.“The fact is that good grades and an after-school qualification will no longer guarantee a job and financial security. The number of unemployed graduates prove this point. Starting to encourage children at a tender age to be entrepreneurs is important and we strive to make entrepreneurship a part of their life-long skills,” said Maloka.