R1 million donation to JA South Africa provides hundreds of learners with entrepreneurial skills 

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JOHANNESBURG, 11 June 2015 MasterCard has extended its support of the Junior Achievement South Africa (JA South Africa) Mini Enterprise Programme for a sixth consecutive year, with a R1 million donation that will see 531 learners, predominantly young females, participate in the organisation’s flagship programme.

The Mini Enterprise Programme will guide the selected Grade 10 and 11 learners from 13 schools across seven provinces in theory and practical sessions lasting three hours after school, one afternoon a week for 15 weeks. The Programme focuses on business theory, accounting, cash flow and marketing, equipping the learners to develop and market their own product to their community and building their interpersonal skills and confidence too.

To date, almost 2,000 young South Africans, mostly females, have benefitted from the six year collaboration between MasterCard and JA South Africa. Each learner has been equipped with the skills that they need upon completing the programme to become entrepreneurs when leaving school through this ongoing collaboration.

“We believe in the power of long-term relationships, and have no doubt that MasterCard’s continued support of youth entrepreneurship is making a difference to the lives of the learners,” says Linda McClure, MD of JA South Africa.

While South Africa’s unemployment rate decreased slightly to 24.3 percent at the end of 2014, research shows that unemployment among women is continually higher than among men. Seventy percent of the learners in this year’s programme are young females between the ages of 15 and 17, continuing MasterCard’s commitment to invest in women empowerment.

“Supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship among women is a key focus for MasterCard globally, and in South Africa we are proud to partner with JA South Africa to help play a role in changing the lives of our youth, for the better,” says Mark Elliott, Division President, MasterCard, South Africa.

“Our local team is actively encouraged to get involved in programmes like this, to volunteer their time and knowledge to add even further value to the educational material that the learners are exposed to,” he says.

MasterCard’s donation has made it possible for the following schools to participate in the 2015 Mini Enterprise Programme:

  • Gauteng – Dawnview High School, McAuley House, Sandtonview School
  • KwaZulu Natal – Avonford Secondary School, Chesterville Secondary School, Ridge Park College, Umkhumbane Secondary School
  • Limpopo – Motse Maria High School
  • Northern Cape – Tshireleco High School
  • North West Province – Herman Thebe Secondary School
  • Eastern Cape – Khulani Commercial High School
  • Western Cape – Kensington High School, Villiersdorp Senior Secondary School

Six of the 13 schools are offering the Mini Enterprise Programme for the second consecutive year, while McAuley House has provided learners with JA South Africa programmes for the last six years in MasterCard-sponsored programmes.

JA South Africa is the local chapter of Junior Achievement, a global non-profit organisation that partners with business communities, educators and volunteers to develop much-needed entrepreneurial skills to prepare learners for the working world after high school.

About MasterCard

MasterCard, www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter: @MasterCardMEA and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the MEA Engagement Bureau.

About JA South Africa

JA South Africa has for the past 36 years been offering South African youth, aged between 10 and 35, a platform to create sustainable futures as opportunity makers and possibility seekers. We achieve this through our array of programmes, all experiential in nature where learners are required to actively engage in real business or financial activities. Follow us on Facebook; Junior Achievement South Africa or on Twitter @JASouthAfrica – hashtag #OpportunityMakers.

Media Contact

Birgit Deibele, MasterCard, birgit_deibele@mastercard.com, +27 71 464 0983

Kelly Webster | Nicola Tarr, Tribeca Public Relations, mastercard@tribecapr.co.za, +27 11 208 5500

Fazlyn Toeffie, JA South Africa, Fazlyn@jasa.co.za, +27 11 331 3150