In July, 128 young women from Gauteng graduated from a six month entrepreneurship programme offered by the JASA Youth Enterprise Development programme, and received an NQF Level 4 entrepreneur accredited certificate. This ceremony took place at the SAP offices in Woodmead.
The women attended the entrepreneurship programmes at community centres that are in partnership with Siyafunda CTC. Siyafunda CTC prides itself as a driving force in bringing change to the lives of many people in our communities, using digital literacy. It’s aim is to eradicate the divide between men and women in terms of technicians and entrepreneurs.
Mr Sunil Geness, Director of Government Relations and CSR at SAP Africa, was the first speaker of the day with encouraging words to the graduates. He urged them to think beyond the stars and emphasised that it takes only a few courageous people to really make a difference.
Mrs Dolly Mokgatle, the JASA Board Chair, spoke about how important it is to take your ideas forward. She encouraged the graduates to dare and to dream big, and cited the example of Jo Malone, who started her cosmetics business in her parents’ kitchen and who eventually sold it to Estee Lauder, the biggest makeup and cosmetic company in the world.
Nelly Mofokeng, Managing Director at JA South Africa, emphasized how important it was to empower young women to rise above systemic challenges and to be able to meaningfully take part in the economy by using entrepreneurship training and mentorship is very important to developing self-sufficient communities.
Mark Elliot, Division President for South Africa at MasterCard, elaborated on the importance of creating opportunities and being in partnership with JA in order to make sure that these opportunities are given to young women of South Africa by helping them develop their entrepreneur skills in order to excel in this man dominated field.
Miss Nthabiseng and Mrs Pumeza, former participants of the JA programme, shared their experiences of before and after taking part in this programme in the hope of motivating and inspiring their peers.
SAP is very proud to be associated with this programme and the outstanding work it does in empowering young women entrepreneurs.