The Young Entrepreneurs Pocket Money Market (YEPMM) continues to nurture a spirit of entrepreneurship in young children, and those involved are gaining a lot of business skills.
The market was started by a single mother, Linda Wilson, in 2014 and it receives no government funding.
This non-profit organisation, based in Fish Hoek, is open to any child wishing to join, up to the age of 16 years.
YEPMM’s long-term goal is that more South Africans will be able to sustain themselves independently and possibly in a more flexible lifestyle conducive to less commuting and more active parenting, which is often a challenge.
The other objective is to bring real and immediate income generation to families, where the means for children to join the Pocket Money Market are simply not available, via the outreach programme.
There are approximately 300 children involved and markets are held between two and six times a month at different venues with about 10 to 50 children trading and busking per event.
Wilson says this project is close to her heart.
“I love this project as we aim to light a spark of entrepreneurial spirit. If we are feeling helpless and disempowered we can look around, use what we have and make a plan to become self-supporting. But we need some skills and some attitude!
“The kids teach me more than I teach them, always. They are amazing. The busking and performing arts side is a focus for growth as many talented youngsters can potentially generate income with a bit of confidence and support, as well as our Waste to Wealth projects,” she says.
The organisation held an awards ceremony on Thursday to recognise the many skills and efforts of the young traders.
Traders were awarded in categories like product innovation, salesmanship, stall presentation and display, branding and marketing, online excellence, accounting excellence, sustainability and environmental innovation (including Waste to Wealth), and overall entrepreneurial brilliance.
“We are also single-use plastic free and all traders sign a #plasticfree pledge. I think we are the only market that is plastic free anywhere. I have a strong emphasis on sustainability. There is so much that goes into this and having a stall, so it’s not all about the profits, it’s a holistic approach to business,” says Wilson.