Grade 10 pupils at Fairmount High School got to experience what it is like to run their own business.
The pupils took part in a virtual conference with Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA), a programme of Junior Achievement Worldwide, which is one of the largest business education organisations in the world that operates in over 121 countries.
School project co-ordinator Ridwaan Salie said the conference is a big opportunity to educate pupils to ensure that they have options after matric.
“We’re showing them that they don’t only have to depend on the government to give them a job but to start their own business because we need our own Bill Gates and Raymond Ackerman,” said Mr Salie.
The five-day course teaches the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and the different steps, processes and guidelines for running a business.
Pupils started their own ventures and the various roles were split between the two businesses, one which sells perfumes and the other hand scrub.
The two businesses had to make their own products to sell at the school and these will soon be available to the broader community.
“We’re teaching the children to plough back into their communities and into society,” said Mr Salie.
Zaida Julius, the entrepreneurship course facilitator, said the pupils will get a certificate for their participation but the goal is to give them the skills and foster the spirit of entrepreneurship.
“It is absolutely vital that programmes like these are introduced at schools where learners get a hands-on approach about operations, they get to experience the challenges, conflict and infrastructure of a business,” she said.
Tiffani Cloete, who was the general manager of one of the companies selling perfume and lip balm, said the conference opened her up to the mentality of business.
“I thought it would be difficult and it does get hard but we learnt that it is possible. We made our own products and got the full business experience”.
Conor Miller, who was the general manager of their company selling hand scrub, said the experience was exciting.
“To be able to learn about the inner workings of a company is great and it gave us insight. We are very grateful for the opportunity because it will definitely help us in future.”
The conference will be extended to the school’s Grade 11s.