Nozala’s Young Entrepreneurs sell their products

Young entrepreneurs from Nozala Primary School selling their products at a recent food and arts market at Emoya Estate.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2016/2017 South Africa report has revealed that significantly fewer South Africans believe that they have either the opportunity or the capability to start their own business. Only 37.9% of South Africans believe that they have the required skills and knowledge to become entrepreneurs. This is down from 45.4% in the previous year.
South Africa’s performance is dismal when compared to the global average of just over 50%. The report ranks South Africa 55th out of 62 economies surveyed.
Founder and Executive Director: Young Entrepreneurs, Danie Jacobs, said that this paints a dismal picture for the country’s economic future. Luckily there is still something that can be done, and Young Entrepreneurs is doing just that by nurturing the entrepreneurship spirit of children while they are still young.
“Entrepreneurship can’t be taught, it’s not something that you can teach. You can’t read through a text book, write a test and now you’re an entrepreneur. We need to instill the entrepreneurial mindset in kids. This leads to certain attributes and these are instilled in them through allowing them to experience business and money,” said Jacobs.
The programme, which has been in existence for three years, focuses on edutainment and experiential learning. It starts with Minipreneurs for Grade 1 and 2 learners, while those in Grade 3 to 6 take part in a programme called Kidpreneures, and those in Grade 7 to 9 take part in Bizkids. Learners in Grade 10 to 12 then do a programme called “Licence to Lead”, which focuses more on employability and workplace readiness. The programme takes a full year, with 15 weeks being used for entrepreneurship and the other 15 weeks for financial literacy.
Young Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Central Media Group (CMG), is currently doing this work at Nozala Primary School in Phahameng, Bloemfontein. CMG forms part of the corporate sponsorship that works together with the Young Entrepreneurs Foundations Trust, a non-profit organisation which aims to drive impact to as many schools as possible.
YE facilitator at Nozala, Nono Tola, said the excitement through the school on Mondays and Thurdays after school is tremendous. She said the learners are always eager to let their creative juices flow, while learning to hone their entrepreneurship skills. “The learners especially enjoy the educational games that we play at the end of each class. Sometimes they’ll ask before we start with classes if we have games for that day. It excites them to see how they can apply what they learn in their daily lives,” said Tola.
Danie Jacobs said the programme’s main aim is to grow a culture of entrepreneurship in society and to promote it as a career option. – Seithati Semenokane