South Africa is faced with a challenge of limited and poor participation of young people in the economy, resulting in unemployment and low entrepreneurial activity, which means that young people are not acquiring the skills and experience they need to assist in driving the economy forward. The Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship Program (FLEP) assumes that when entrepreneurship is taught at an early stage, children are better prepared to identify and take advantage of economic opportunities at their disposal. Therefore, increasing entrepreneurial skills of children and youth to achieve sustainable livelihoods encourages them to be more resourceful and creative in realizing their full economic potential. Entrepreneurship education allows children and youth to explore career paths that match personal interest while building several skills that will best serve them in their chosen profession or vocation.
FLEP provides a course structure detailing the target age group as well as the module structure with specific units per age group. The objectives of FLEP are to:
- Create an appreciation of the value money and other resources;
- Recognise how spending decisions have an impact on one’s life and that of the families and the community;
- Create the ability to engage in financial negotiations and make smart consumer choices;
- Help young people plan and use acquired resources to obtain products and services they need;
- Enable young people to evaluate information about products and services to make informed decisions about spending, saving, borrowing and investing;
- Understand how to adjust in personal budget in response to financial challenges;
- Create the ability to compare costs, benefits and trade-offs before deciding how to use the money and resources;
- Increase awareness and interest in entrepreneurship as a potential career option;
- Improve the perception and attitudes towards entrepreneurship.
These objectives were translated into a training manual. A total of 16 vochellis representing 5 Clubs were trained on the FLEP manual. Out of the 16, 14 attended the full course and four were selected to take FLEP during the pilot phase. A decision was taken to pilot in two clubs – Poortjie and Orange Farm. It was also agreed that both pilots would focus on the 12 years and older children. The pilot would be used to test the curriculum and prove the viability of FLEP as one of the activities to be provided during the Club and Camp sessions.
The 22 sessions culminated into The Market Day was held on the 6 May 2017. All the logistics for the Market Day were done by the GCA/Sizanani office staff. Nine camper-run businesses participated and were evaluated by the panel of experts. We are so proud of each camper's hard work, and look forward to continuing to support them as they consider the next steps in their entrepreneurial journeys.