Opportunities

25 November 2016

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Mastercard backs female entrepreneurs in SA with $96k

Mastercard has extended its support of the Junior Achievement South Africa Mini Enterprise Programme for a sixth year, making a ZAR1.4 million (US$96,000) donation to help more than 450 learners participate in the programme.

Mastercard has backed Junior Achievement South Africa in running the Mini Enterprise Programme, which helps learners, mostly young women, from 13 schools across seven provinces.

The programme offers theory and practical sessions lasting three hours after school, one afternoon a week for 15 weeks. Focusing on business theory, accounting, cash flow and marketing, the programme helps the learners to develop and market their own product to their community, while building their interpersonal skills and confidence.

Over 2,500 young South Africans, mostly females, have benefitted from the six-year collaboration to date, with each learner being equipped with the skills they need to become entrepreneurs when leaving school.

“Our programme equips learners with the skills needed to launch their own businesses, so that they can potentially employ others one day. This mindset and knowledge foundation will help break the cycle of unemployment faced by school leavers that threatens the future of South Africa’s youth,” said Nelly Mofokeng, acting managing director of JA South Africa.

“Across the globe, Mastercard has been working with our partners to empower young women, as disparities and obstacles to equal opportunities still exist in both the developed and emerging markets. Encouraging women to become entrepreneurs and participate in their local communities is not only a social cause, but has tremendous economic benefits,” said Mark Elliott, division president of Mastercard in South Africa.

“Through our partnership with JA South Africa, we are equipping these young women with the skills and practical experience they need to one day open their own business and pursue their dreams.”