JA South Africa Youth Enterprise Development Programme; Nurturing Female Entrepreneurs


Do you have a great business idea and dream of becoming an entrepreneur, but don’t know where to start? Mastercard invites out of school, unemployed or self-employed young women between the ages of 18 and 35 to participate in the Junior Achievement South Africa (JA South Africa) Youth Enterprise Development Programme.

Kicking-off at various community centres around Gauteng, Western Cape and Limpopo on 6 February 2017, 260 applicants will be selected to take part in a 20-week programme that aims to empower women to pursue entrepreneurial ventures of their own.

By participating in three hour theoretical and practical sessions two afternoons a week, the budding entrepreneurs will focus on business theory, market research, financial and business management, sales and marketing, as well as the basic steps of computer literacy.

“Our programme focuses on encouraging and guiding young women to become economically active, enabling them to contribute towards self-sufficient communities,” says Nelly Mofokeng, Managing Director at JA South Africa.

The Youth Enterprise Development Programme was launched in 2013 in response to the high rate of youth unemployment in South Africa, and has grown substantially in reach and impact. Nearly 1,700 South Africans have completed the programme to date, with many going on to realise their entrepreneurial dream.

“At Mastercard, we understand the importance of helping young entrepreneurs realise their business ideas as their success is vital for the growth of the country’s economy,” says Mark Elliott, Division President, Mastercard, South Africa.  “Women are increasingly playing an active role in the Small Medium Enterprise segment and we are proud to support their growth through this programme, which aims to teach them the fundamental skills required to develop their ideas, and grow their businesses.”

Application forms must be submitted no later than 31 January 2017 and are available in the following areas:

  • Gauteng: Siyafunda Community Technology Centre (East Rand), Tshepo Themba Development Centre (West Rand), Diepsloot Skills Centre (Diepsloot) and Olievenhoutbosch Development Centre (Pretoria).
  • Western Cape: The Communiversity in Vrygrond.
  • Limpopo: Vexospark Community Technology Centre in Polokwane.

Criteria for entry:

  1. You must be between the ages of 18 and 35 to participate in the programme
  2. You must have at least a Grade 10 education and upwards
  3. You must be able to read and write in English