Entrepreneurship is vital for the effective and widely-spread socio-economic upliftment of this country’s people. With the ever-present challenge of unemployment, the Gift of the Givers Foundation has identified the need to reinforce a spirit of entrepreneurship within South African society, beginning at the grass-roots level. With today’s high school learners and school-leavers being the potential business owners of tomorrow, the Gift of the Givers Foundation is committed to embracing and supporting the entrepreneurial ideas of the youth.

The Gift of the Givers Foundation further recognises that numerous small enterprise operators have wonderful business ideas, but due to the sheer costs of marketing, they are prevented from connecting easily with their potential clientele.

It is against this backdrop that the Jumpstart Schools Entrepreneurial Programme was born.

In 2011, the Jumpstart Schools Entrepreneurial competition was launched and piloted in eight schools located in historically-disenfranchised communities in the greater Durban and Pietermaritzburg areas, in KwaZulu-Natal. The competition, targeted at Grade 11 learners, is intended to stimulate and support the entrepreneurial spirit amongst youth, thereby empowering aspiring entrepreneurs ahead of their matriculation year.

In its inaugural year, 148 Grade 11 learners, from the eight participating schools, were awarded with Jumpstart marketing packages. These awards followed a stringent application and recruitment process that was well-supported by school principals and selected educators.

Jumpstart is an all-new branding package designed to assist young budding entrepreneurs to overcome marketability barriers, so allowing them to get ahead of the game within an increasingly competitive business environment. Funded wholly by the Gift of the Givers Foundation, the package was developed by Assegai & Javelin, a through-the-line, Durban-based Marketing and Communications agency. The package helps learners understand the need and role of a business Corporate Identity and how this translates into various business marketing and communication tools. The Jumpstart package also ensures that winning learners are poised to develop effective communication networks with clients and customers using social media tools.

The Jumpstart Package:

Jumpstart business communication and branding packages comprise the necessary elements to meet the marketing, communications and transactional needs of an emerging entrepreneur, creating a competitive edge and setting their enterprise apart in an increasingly competitive small business environment. Elements include:

•    A company logo;
•    A business card;
•    A letterhead;
•    An invoice document;
•    A quotation document
•    An e-brochure;
•    A website; and
•    Access to a business advice and mentoring service

Now in its second year, the Gift of the Givers Schools Entrepreneurial Programme will award 148 new participants with Jumpstart packages and maintain support for the 2011 participants now in their matric school year.