I regularly visit the village where I matriculated in Ga-Phaahla in Limpopo, and, each time I do, I am reminded of the potential for stimulation of entrepreneurial thinking and activity among the youth in this community to foster the kind of innovation that could see many social challenges addressed. Social entrepreneurs could play a key role in supplying local produce and spurring community development.
We could debate whether entrepreneurs are born or made, but the outcome wo would be of little relevance given that we can only harness entrepren neurial p potential by providing opportun tunities for ‘ dif different thin thinking’ to f lour lourish.
Ea Each year, in pa partnership with Junior Achievement South Africa ( JASA), Investec hosts a week-long workshop as part of the Junior Innovators Competition. This joint initiative focuses on coaching Grade 10-12 learners from participating schools across the country on basic business skills. Innovative ideas presented by the students are adjudicated and the winner receives a contribution of R60 000 towards their tertiary education.
The project is an example of a platform actively realising the potential inherent in young South Africans. To date, we have been overwhelmed by the creativity and robust nature of ideas which the participants offer. Take one of our 2012 Junior Innovation competition f inalists, for instance: Keith Mbaso from Eqinisweni Secondary school, who went on to enter and won, as part of a group, the SA HP global social innovation relay. His group’s winning idea was to convert kinetic energy from a playground to power households near the playground and in so doing assist the community.
As a result, I am confident that among our youth there are potential job creators as opposed to job seekers. The challenge is to ensure that they have the confidence to succeed. Head of Corporate Social Investment