New business venture for New Brighton school kids

2018-05-23 06:02
Charles Duna Primary learner and budding entrepreneur, Sisipho Sixakwe, works on a beaded bracelet to sell at the Locally Yours handmade market in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday.

Charles Duna Primary learner and budding entrepreneur, Sisipho Sixakwe, works on a beaded bracelet to sell at the Locally Yours handmade market in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday.

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A PROGRAMME designed to help pupils become budding entrepreneurs has had such an impact on New Brighton’s Charles Duna Primary School that it has led to a school-based jewellery making business.

Twenty-five Grade 2 to 6 pupils have been hard at work making beaded bracelets, necklaces and other products through their new business venture, called Kingdom Kids.

They will be selling their wares at the Locally Yours handmade market at Port Elizabeth’s Tramways Building on Sunday.

The Kingdom Kids children form part of a group of more than 80 learners at the school, who are participating in the community outreach arm of the national Young Entrepreneurs (YE) programme, which teaches youngsters how to run their own small businesses and manage money.

Charles Duna principal Nombulelo Sume said, while 80% of the parents at the school are unemployed, the YE programme is giving children the tools to create their own jobs, to break the cycle of poverty many families face.

“We are teaching our pupils not to wait for employment but to create their own employment. We are planting a seed that even while they are at school, they can create your own businesses,” Sume said.

YE facilitator Nomawethu Zenzile, who came up with the Kingdom Kids concept, said she hoped the children would grow into fully-fledged entrepreneurs and share their skills with others.

“My hope is that they teach other kids that they become teachers as well as entrepreneurs and make an impact on their community,” Zenzile said.

The 30-week YE programme runs at Charles Duna for an hour a week and Kingdom Kids is an extension of that, running for an additional hour a week.

Locally Yours coordinator Annelize Botha said they are thrilled that the heart of their market will be entrepreneurs who are all under the age of 13.

“My feeling is that the Kingdom Kids programme is not about learning a skill but rather about creating a habit for life.

“Quite a few of our members have also volunteered to mentor these children in terms of learning new crafting and cooking skills, so, I think this is just the beginning of a very exciting adventure,” Botha said.

YE business owner Ansulene Prinsloo, who last year brought the YE programme to Nelson Mandela Bay and several other Eastern Cape towns, said their vision is that Kingdom Kids will become a self-sustainable business.

“With the money the kids make from the market, they will be able to buy more raw materials, make more products and grow their businesses. In this process, they are not only learning vital skills and knowledge but earning some income for themselves and their families,” Prinsloo said.

“With high unemployment rates accompanied by low economic growth rates, our children as the next generation need to develop an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Prinsloo, adding that by setting up their own businesses, they will not only generate income for themselves, but many more jobs will be created, contributing to the development of the economy of Nelson Mandela Bay and the country.

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