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Mastercard invests in young female entrepreneurs


Over 120 Junior Achievement South Africa graduates move into the next phase of the Youth Enterprise Development Programme.

More than 120 young South African women graduated from a Mastercard-funded initiative that empowers women to pursue entrepreneurial ventures of their own.

Female entrepreneurs graduate from Junior Achievement South Africa (JA South Africa),

a Mastercard funded initiative.

The Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) and Youth Enterprise Development Programme target out-of-school, unemployed or self-employed women aged between 18 and 35.

The women participated in theoretical and practical sessions focused on business theory, market research, financial and business management, sales and marketing, computer literacy and business funding.

This was all completed over a period of 20 weeks.

They also gained practical interpersonal skills and business experience by starting up and managing their own businesses.

“Empowering young women to rise above the systemic challenges they face and to participate in the economy through entrepreneurship is a key way of helping to develop self-sufficient communities,” said Nelly Mofokeng, managing director at JASA.

According to the 2018 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, women account for only 18.8 per cent of business owners in South Africa.

Women also have a low rate of entrepreneurial activity, with only 5.9 per cent of working age women in the labour force engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activities compared to 8.4 per cent for men.

“At Mastercard, we believe South African women from disadvantaged backgrounds should have better access to financial and entrepreneurship tools that enable them to realise their full potential and achieve prosperity,” said Mark Elliott, division president for Mastercard Southern Africa.

“Together with like-minded organisations like JASA, we can advance opportunities for young South African women by helping them develop the skills and expertise they need to thrive as entrepreneurs, in turn empowering them to be able to provide for themselves and their families.

“This creates knowledge transfer and employment opportunities for their community, too,” he said.

Graduates from the programme receive an NQF Level Four Services Seta Accredited Youth Enterprise Development certificate and the Intel Learn Easy Steps Digital Literacy certificate.



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