In Port Elizabeth on Thursday 6 June, 150 youths participated in a three hour coaching and knowledge sharing session, providing insights and advice on how to start, run and grow a small business. Topics included how to develop a business idea, marketing plans, developing a budget and finance platforms, amongst others.
Sponsored by Barclays, the coaching sessions are aimed at helping foster economic growth and raise the level of financial skills, targeting youth aged between 10 and 35.
This campaign, called Unlocking Youth Potential, is one of several employee volunteering opportunities supported by Absa in South Africa and Barclays in the rest of Africa.
Craig Bond, Chief Executive: Africa Retail and Business Banking, says: “The future success of our communities and the economies in which we operate relies on this next generation having the right skills to fulfil their potential. Our commitment is underpinned by Barclays’ clear sense of business purpose – to help individuals, communities, businesses and economies progress and grow. Our mission is to empower young people with the skills necessary to achieve financial and economic independence, as well as a sense of security.”
The bank aims to impact on three focus areas:
- Life skills, which include vital skills such as literacy and numeracy, with a focus on improving the overall employability of the youth.
- Financial skills, where we will impart skills to the youth that help them to manage their money better, and make sound and empowering financial decisions regarding the money that they have.
- Enterprise skills, we will provide young people with the skills needed to start their own businesses, strengthen their existing businesses and increase their capacity to employ others.”
Absa employees, led by Craig Bond, are involved in facilitating this employee volunteering programme across the country which is intended to impact 1418 young people.
Young people were grouped with Absa employee volunteers who facilitated a programme developed by Junior Achievement, an NGO, on youth entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs from Port Elizabeth, identified through Absa Enterprise Development, were invited to provide practical insights into the actual entrepreneurial journey.
Neil Hart, CEO of Boom Town advertising and marketing and Rachel Deli, Managing Member of Masiye Mzantsi travel agency, both renowned Port Elizabeth entrepreneurs, shared their business journey that has taken them to the success they have achieved to date in their respective professions.
The Census 2011 portrays South Africa as a youthful nation with the average age of the population at 25 years old and a third of the population of 52 million under the age of 15 years. Even though a youthful nation is generally regarded as a positive development, viewed against the background of the country’s unemployment statistics, it is a cause for concern considering youth make up 4,5 million of the unemployed.