Category: Enterprising School Leavers | Opportunity mediation services | 24 July, 2013 - 18:00← BACK
Junior Achievement, South Africa’s unique, entrepreneurship skills program aims to address the country’s huge youth unemployment challenge. This intensive, incubator-style project not only provides practical entrepreneurial skills but also traditional workplace readiness skills.
The target audience for this program are young adults aged 18 to 35 years, who are not in school and are unemployed. ITS TYME is an intensive three to four month program during which students meet once or twice a week for three hours.
This learning brief discusses how the success of our program has benefited from (1) its well-planned design and use of good course material, and formal structures; (2) the recruitment of capable managers and competent facilitators; (3) the careful selection of candidates/students; (4) and the investment in small groups of youth.
LESSON 1: DESIGN THE PROGRAM WITH GOOD MATERIAL, AND MAINTAIN FORMAL STRUCTURES
LESSON 2: HIRE A CAPABLE MANAGER AND COMPETENT FACILITATORS
LESSON 3: INVESTMENT IN SMALL NUMBERS
In order to enhance the program experience for each student, we have found that the optimum student number in one group is between 15 and 25. Too large a group does not allow for full engagement and students then lose interest. As such we also accept no more than 35 students per cohort year onto our program.
LESSON 4: SELECT APPROPRIATE CANDIDATES
IMPLICATIONS FOR OTHERS
Before starting any similar entrepreneurship-training program it is vital not to assume that all young, unemployed people will be committed to learning how to start and run a business. If you just accept any interested student into your program you will have a high dropout rate, which is a wasted investment. Begin selection during the recruitment stage, by determining the propensity of potential candidates to start their own business. This will ensure the recruitment of suitable students.
Targeting out-of-school, unemployed youth is extremely challenging and those who wish to do so need to understand that it is not smooth sailing through the program. However, the potential for this demographic group to play an active role in the economy, through small business development, is huge and worth the investment of time and money. But invest wisely. It is very gratifying to see young people learn and grow, and get excited when they make their first sale.
132 Fox Street, Marshalltown, Johannesburg
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In this learning brief Junior Achievement South Africa offers four lessons emerging from its youth entrepreneurship program. It discusses the program design, materials used, as well as selection of youth participants.