Youth say ‘yes’ to entrepreneurship

2018-02-28 06:01
Yvonne Klaas, a club member of the Youth Enterprise Society (Yes) at the Bankhara Bodulong High School in Kuruman, encourages her peers to be job creators and not job seekers.

Yvonne Klaas, a club member of the Youth Enterprise Society (Yes) at the Bankhara Bodulong High School in Kuruman, encourages her peers to be job creators and not job seekers.

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Dynamite comes in small packages, as was proven at a high school in a small village near Kuruman.

The Bankhara Bodulong High School was named as the Northern Cape provincial winner of the Simama Ranta School Entrepreneurship Education Competition, receiving a prize of R50 000.

The Eskom Development Foundation, in partnership with the Education With Enterprise Trust (Ewet), hosted the prize-giving ceremony in celebration of excellent youth entrepreneurship at the school on Friday, 9 February.

The ceremony was aimed at celebrating the province’s best-performing schools in this competition. This annual competition identifies and celebrates South African schools that are exemplars in entrepreneurship education and it encourages young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career.

Simama Ranta rewards the top three schools in each province, as well as the overall winner of the competition from 28 national finalists.

To qualify for the competition, intermediate and secondary schools must run enter­prise clubs that teach the learners the basics of starting and running successful businesses through practical application, while responding to their respective communities’ socio-economic challenges.

Yvonne Klaas, a member of the Youth Enterprise Society (Yes) at the school, called on young entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity provided by the competition.

“Last year, our society wanted to make something unique and make a difference in our community. So we chose to make firelighters which can be used for cooking. My advice to other learners is to grab the opportunity with both hands.

“Make sure you become a job creator and not a job seeker. We do not need magic to change the world. You have the power inside you to do this,” she said.

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.

Other schools at the ceremony, which run enterprise clubs, included the Boresetse High School and the Barkly West High School.

With millions of young South Africans being unemployed, the Eskom Development Foundation and Ewet run this programme to empower the youth to actively participate in the economy.

Zaida Burrows, Yes advisor at Bankhara Bodulong, recounted the successes of the club.

“Over the years, learners have come up with excellent plans for what they want to do. In the beginning, one of the learners suggested we sell wood. The intention was to sell bags of wood to villages, but the club suffered a setback when the community didn’t want to pay for the wood, even when the price was lowered. They then came up with the idea of using sawdust to create fire­lighters and this led to us winning the provincial award,” Burrows said.

“The club also collects old pairs of jeans and make items such as aprons. Our learners have truly become job creators and not job seekers.”

Suzette Fraser, a teacher at the school, is also a coordinator of the club.

Molefi Rantsonyane, Eskom senior manager of maintenance and operations in the Northern Cape, encouraged the learners to create their own opportunities by sticking to and growing their enterprise clubs.

Your clubs are a solid foundation from where you can grow and learn the basics of running successful businesses and you should see those clubs as your training for the future. You are ambassadors for self-employment and you should try to inspire others through your work,” said Rantsonyane.

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