Fostering Youth Entrepreneurship

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71point4 > Blog > Social initiatives > Fostering Youth Entrepreneurship

Fostering Youth Entrepreneurship

Posted by: Illana Melzer
Category: Social initiatives, Youth employment

For the third year running, the team at 71point4 partnered with the Emagqabini Education Academy to facilitate the annual entrepreneurship programme.

The Emagqabini Education Academy is an academic support programme based in Khayelitsha that provides extra-curricular support, tutoring and mentorship for high-school learners. The entrepreneurship programme runs for three weeks over the June school holidays and introduces the learners to the fundamental principles of starting and running a business by taking them to businesses in Khayelitsha and Cape Town CBD. The programme culminates in a “Dragon’s Den” style competition where learners present their proposed business ideas.In the first week of the programme, learners were introduced to two key concepts: identifying and fulfilling a customer need and developing a basic business plan. During the discussion on customer needs, the teams were asked to weigh the potential success of a shop selling bread versus a coffee shop in Khayelitsha. One of the teams argued that the bread shop would be more successful because hunger is a more pressing need in the community, and people would not spend their money on a cup of coffee.

Later, the learners visited the Makukhanye Art Room, a shack theatre in Khayelitsha. Learners were asked to come-up with an additional income generation plan for the space. One of the teams pitched their idea of a fashion show, which would make money by charging an entrance fee and by selling the clothes featured on the runway. Again, a lively debate followed, with teams noting that the cost inputs, specifically for acquiring clothing for the fashion show, were too expensive. However, the presenting team argued that, “in order to make money you must spend money.”

The group also visited Vuka Trailers, a local trailer manufacturer in Khayelitsha. The owner, utat’Vukani, described the seasonality of his trailer business, which serves more customers in summer and spring than in winter, when he must sell sheep heads to make money.

Over the week that followed, 71point4 arranged for the learners to visit businesses outside Khayelitsha to gain exposure to a variety of businesses and the customers they serve. The first visit was to Pie in the Sky, one of the oldest family run bakeries in Cape Town. Alex, one of the managers of the bakery, led the learners through a tour of the factory. With the backdrop of industrial sized ovens and rows of hundreds of bread rolls and croissants, Alex explained how the business had grown from only a few employees to almost 100 employees today. He emphasised that the business would not be where it was today had it not been for their continued focus on building lasting customer relationships. Aside from enjoying the delicious “cronuts” after the factory tour, the learners got invaluable insight into the importance of good customer service.

As a well-deserved break from the programme, the group went up Lion’s Head and were treated to a delicious lunch at “Tea in the Park” in Green Point, generously funded by that company.The last site visit was to Debonairs in Plumstead. Mr. Bailey, the franchise owner who kindly hosted the group, exposed the learners to the business of franchising, a concept few learners knew much about. The leaners thoroughly enjoyed this visit, and the opportunity to make their own pizzas!

On pitch day the learners presented business ideas to the class, as well as some industry professionals. Business ideas included R100/hour day-care centre, a sneaker cleaning business, a Kota business and a photography business. The ideas were critiqued, with the best given seed funding to help them implement their business plan over the coming week. Each idea’s strengths and weaknesses were discussed, with learners challenging each other and asking pertinent questions. In the end, the photography business stole the show with a great presentation that was well conceived, considering the target audience, set-up costs (including travel expenses) and how to market the business.

The team at 71point4 are proud to have partnered with Emagqabini on another successful Entrepreneurship programme. Beyond giving learners first-hand experience of starting and running a business the programme helps to strips away the perceived glamour often associated with entrepreneurship, while highlighting the importance of it in our society.

We would like to thank all the business owners and managers who took part in the programme. Their enthusiasm, honesty and passion has hopefully inspired a group of future entrepreneurs. Special thanks also to our generous sponsors this year, Tea in the Park and Debonairs.

To learn more about Emagqabini’s great work, follow them here.

We’re also always looking for new businesses to assist with the programme. If you would be keen to host the group of learners next year (typically 10 – 14 learners), please let us know.

Author: Illana Melzer

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