At 55.9%, South Africa’s youth unemployment statistics are the highest they have ever been. Stats SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey says this means that over three million young South Africans between the ages of 15 and 24 are currently unemployed.
While the greatest opportunity for solving unemployment globally lies in growing the number of entrepreneurs, South Africa possesses below average entrepreneurial activity levels for young people. The reason? Young people are not adequately equipped with the skills they need to start and run their own business. To help change this, Coronation Fund Managers has partnered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) to sponsor this year’s annual Business Development Games.
The games, which run between 2 September and 14 October, will see 900 grade 10 and 11 learners from around the country discover just how business works in the real world. The games are now in their 16th year, and are just one of the ways SAICA is creating the business leaders of tomorrow.
Gugu Makhanya, SAICA’s Senior Executive: Transformation & Growth, explains: ‘If young people are to realise their full entrepreneurial potential and contribute to the greater economy, we must be active in moulding the youth’s talent, skills and ideas from a young age. This is why SAICA and Coronation have invited 100 learners from every province to participate in the 2017 SAICA & Coronation Business Development Games.’
She continues: ‘Among the top lessons learners discover when taking part in these games is to think outside the box, and create and promote economic opportunity. By using the world-renowned Commercium board game, we encourage the participating learners to internalise key business lessons. We introduce learners to real-life business situations and show them some of the daily decisions business leaders have to make to run their companies successfully.’
Makhanya explains that SAICA also uses the Development Games to introduce learners to chartered accountancy as a career of choice. ‘This is done through motivational talks, career presentations, and liaising with SAICA’s Thuthuka Bursary Fund students who act as facilitators while the learners play the games.’
Wendy Bergsteedt, head of marketing at Coronation Fund Managers, adds “Our contribution to education is a long-term investment that we take very seriously. Over the years, we have established a number of inspiring educational programmes that have changed the lives of many. This initiative aims to do exactly that; inspiring young people to not only understand the business world they are about to enter but to consider how they can be job creators and not only job seekers.”