Recent news reports revealed that according to Minister of Basic Education, Ms. Angie Motshekga’s response to parliamentary questions, over half a million learners are registered to write the Grade 12 final exams across South Africa this year.

Whilst many look at this statistic with encouragement that such a large number of learners are seeing it through to Grade 12, other experts and opinion leaders are a little bit concerned because this is an indication of the volume of learners that will need to enter the job market in the coming year.

The most recent youth unemployment statistics recorded South Africa’s youth unemployment at a staggering high of 36%. At the opening of the Youth Employment Conference in September, Deputy President, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned in a video-taped message that government is looking at employment tax incentives to encourage employers to employ first time employees – in other words school leavers and university graduates. This is one of the ways that government is looking at addressing the youth unemployment issue.

The vision of SA Teen Entrepreneur Foundation which was formed in 2011 is to cultivate and promote the entrepreneurial spirit in all South African teenagers, whilst still at school. One of the richest teens in the world with a net worth of over U$30 million is 18 year old Nick D’Aloisio a self-made millionaire. He invented an app and sold it to Yahoo, a move which catapulted him into business. There are others like Nick across the world who with their enquiring minds have the ability to come up with innovative ideas that could be life-changing for individuals and business alike.

Under the leadership of Lydia Zingoni, the SA Teen Entrepreneur Foundation has been running a number of workshops, seminars and competitions with high schoolers to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and nurture their ideas. The newest initiative that will launch on 28 October 2014 at Bishops Diocesan College in Rondebosch is the launch of the High School Entrepreneur Societies. The underpinning body for all these societies will be the Association of South African High School Entrepreneur Societies, a Teen Entrepreneur Foundation initiative. The vision is to grow entrepreneurs and business leaders at all high schools in South Africa through planting entrepreneur clubs and societies in each high school in the country.

There are 27 000 high schools across South Africa. If each high school across the country embraces this vision, it means that 27 000 entrepreneurial hotspots can be formed across the country. Each entrepreneurial society will be encouraged to come up with business concepts that improve their communities. As such, the ripple effect is that through encouraging entrepreneurial teens to explore their ideas at a young age, a generation of employers will graduate from school and each community around the school will benefit from the impact of the business activities of these societies.

“Whilst this is a lofty vision, it is something we feel is desperately needed and can be achieved,” said Lydia Zingoni, Founder & Director of The SA Teen Entrepreneur Foundation. “The staggering youth unemployment statistics are a stark reminder that we need to implement programmes that will make youth employable when they leave school and possibly even make them employers from a young age already,” she continued.

The launch event is open to parents, teachers, business & political leaders and learners who are interested to join forces with SA Teen Entrepreneur Foundation and play an active part in supporting South African youth to playing an active role in the economy. There is no cost to attend but bookings are essential as space is limited.

For more information about the launch or to book your seat please click here.