The Tshwane Student Financial Literacy Project aims to provide Grade 8 and Grade 9 students with the life skills to foster entrepreneurship and improve basic sales & financial knowledge competencies.

Youth unemployment rates in South Africa remain a constant challenge in the fight against poverty and inequality in the country. Almost half of South Africans between the ages of 14-35 are unemployed. According to the 2015 – 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report for South Africa, the number of entrepreneurs in the country have declined during 2015 to 2016, and entrepreneurial intention (which measures the intention to start a business) has almost halved when compared to 2010 and is lower than the African average.

Facing increasingly difficult economic conditions, many South African students lack the basic skills around money management, finance and entrepreneurship. There is a distinct lack of theoretical and practical preparation for schools and their students, in a country where unemployed graduates are often the norm and not the exception. The Global Shapers aimed to tackle this critical issue through engaging Phateng Secondary School based in Mamelodi, which currently educates over 1,000 students from the local areas, many of which come from disadvantaged households.

TshwaneHub Shapers with learners and teachers at Phateng High School

TshwaneHub Shapers with learners and teachers at Phateng High School

The opening session was held on 24th June involved teaching students the lesson plans detailed in section one of the StarSaver Lesson Plan (Lesson Plans and Pre-Project Businesses Plan Documents), as well as helping the students unpack a business plan to consider before submitting a proposal to us one week later. The session on 24th June was the most important day, setting the foundation for the entire project. On 1st July, the students were asked to bring their refined Draft Business Plan to present to the group and the Global Shapers for submission and approval to receive their capital. Rejected groups spent further time refining their Draft Business Plans that day with the help of Global Shapers in order to qualify for their capital. Students signed loan agreement contracts before receiving their investment allocation. The third session, held on 15th July, was focused around assessing the progress of the businesses, working through any problems that arose and planning actions for the final week. The final session, held on 22nd July, focused on assessing the business and tallying up the groups’ profits or losses. Students completed evaluation feedback forms that will guide Global Shapers if we are to run this project again. At the end of the final session the groups received certificates, shared their experiences during this project and discussed why they turned a profit or ran a loss. Overall, there was much enthusiasm and positive feedback from the school regarding the project and how it was run. Phateng Secondary School welcomed more sessions with the Global Shapers in future.

We would like thank Principal Mission and the teachers at Phateng High School, Tshwane Hub Shapers, guests and sponsors for their support and involvement. A major shout-out to Phateng High School students and the Mamelodi community for their participation!”