Eskom Recognises SA’s Leading Schools In Entrepreneurship Education

Posted on August 30th, 2017
Biz News

Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (30 August)

Eskom has honoured high schools leading the way in entrepreneurial action to improve the lives of their communities at the 2017 Eskom Simama Ranta Awards. The ceremony, held at the Indaba Hotel on Tuesday, 29 August 2017, showcased how successful and sustainable youth enterprises are contributing to local economies.

With an unemployment rate of 56% for youth aged 15-24, entrepreneurship education in schools has become increasingly important to prepare learners to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice and become creators of jobs rather than job seekers.

The annual Eskom Simama Ranta Entrepreneurship Education competition is aimed at identifying and celebrating secondary schools successfully implementing entrepreneurship education. All South African intermediate and secondary schools are eligible to enter the competition. To qualify, these schools must have enterprise clubs that teach learners the basics of running a business through practical application while responding to their respective communities’ socio-economic needs.

This year’s overall winner, Harrismith Senior Secondary from the Free State, was selected as the front-runner from a pool of 323 entries received for the 2017 competition. The school’s plastic recycling initiative, in which they transform plastic waste into usable items, is making strides in Harrismith.

Through their Youth Enterprise Society (YES) club, the school recycles 2 litre bottles and transforms them into functional items such as bird houses, flower vases, cellphone charger holders, pencil cases and bracelets.

“Creating a variety of goods from used plastic bottles that are readily available at dumping sites near the school has been our greatest success to date,” says club member Sinethemba Hlatshwayo. “We chose to make the products we make because an opportunity presented itself whereby some of the learners who joined the club live near dumping sites, so we had the advantage of easily collecting the plastic bottles and transform them into usable items – while decreasing pollution.”

The club was started as a means to train young people to become entrepreneurs and give them first-hand experience in operating a business.

Club member, Katleho Dahile says the club hopes to expand its project by creating a bottle renewal initiative that will further reduce pollution.

“We are following the triple bottom line principle that states ‘in the pursuit of profit, an entrepreneur must not harm the planet and the people’. Our project fully follows this principle.”

This year R865 000 in prize money is up for grabs. The overall winning school receives R100 000 and each provincial winning school receives R50 000. Provincial runners-up receive R25 000 and provincial second runners-up each receive R10 000.  The prize money has to be used to ‘grow the school enterprise’.

In addition, finalists from all nine provinces will travel to Johannesburg to showcase and exhibit their club’s work at the Small Business Expo at the Ticketpro Dome Johannesburg from 31 August to 2 September 2017. Each of the finalist schools will be invited to send a team, consisting of two learners and an educator, to represent their school.

Sars’ Deadline Looms For Taxpayers To Declare Foreign Assets And Income

The South African Revenue Services (Sars) on Tuesday dispelled rumours that there was an extension to the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP), saying that the closing date is imminent.

The SVDP is a once-off opportunity to disclose off-shore assets and income by taxpayers with undeclared foreign assets or income with the benefit of being given some relief. The final date for submitting an application under the SVDP is still August 31.

The SVDP closing date has already been extended twice from the initial date of March 31, announced in the 2016 Budget. The SVDP closing date was first extended from March 31 to June 30, in the Bill introduced in Parliament.

Proposals were then made to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance to further extend the SVDP deadline to September 30.

The committee considered the proposals but only extended the closing date to August 31, because the automatic exchange of information internationally was, and is still, to begin in September 2017.

Sars said it was aware that there may be exceptional cases where taxpayers were struggling to obtain off-shore financial information that is required for an SVDP application.

The revenue services said it will accept the submission of an application that estimates the values of off-shore assets in a bid to assist these taxpayers to meet the August 31 deadline. (via African News Agency)

Medsaf Named Most Promising Startup In Nigeria At Seedstars Lagos

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its Nigeria round to a successful close during Seedstars Lagos.

The local winner, Medsaf, an e-health startup that is making the process of buying and selling medication in Nigeria’s complex health system easy and efficient,  was selected the best startup in Nigeria.

eWorker, an outsourcing platform that connects companies with talented and vetted developers in Africa, came second and Edves, a startup which automates the brick and mortal school operations from student enrollment and fee collection to transcript generation, grabbed the last spot in the top three.

In addition, DropQue which uses a combination of one way unassisted video interviews and a powerful AI assessment assistant to get companies the best candidate won the public vote and will receive one free membership to Seedspace Lagos. The other startups invited to pitch were GetJamairecycle , Parcel-it, Safi.ng, Wallet.ng and Wesabi.

The ten startups pitched in front of a jury are: Lexi Novitske, Principal Investment Officer at Singularity Investments, Ashley Lewis, Investment Officer at  West Africa Accion Venture Lab, Olawale Anifowose General Manager at Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), Wale Ayeni, Head of Africa VC Investments at IFC Venture Capital, and Tunde Akinnuwa, Country Manager at Seedstars.

As a part of the prize, Medsaf will participate at the Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in April 2018, a week long training program with the opportunity to meet the other 75 winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 1 million equity investment and other prizes.