Shanduka Black Umbrellas inspires learners on Mandela Day

18 July 2013 – As part of Nelson Mandela International Day, Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) has partnered with the Adopt-a-School Foundation to introduce school leaners to the opportunities of entrepreneurship and share experiences of creating successful small businesses.

Businesses from the five SBU small business incubators will set up 67 minute interactive sessions with high school learners in five schools. These schools are part of the Adopt-a-School Foundation programme.

Shanduka Black Umbrella’s mission is to develop 100 % black-owned businesses through their values of excellence, collaboration and the regeneration of the entrepreneurial sector. These values resonate with Madiba’s call to encourage communities everywhere to make the world a better place, one small step at a time – starting with giving back 67 minutes on 18 July.

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are one of South Africa’s largest providers of formal and informal employment. In a country with 25% unemployment, it remains imperative to develop this sector to ensure job opportunities for our youth.

Given the daunting array of disadvantages borne by the youth in the business world, a surprisingly high number do in fact start businesses. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) measured that in countries with economies similar to that of South Africa, on average one in eight people between the ages of 18 and 24 are running a business. And roughly one in six people between 25 and 34 are in business.

Unfortunately, South African youth lag way behind. Only one in fifteen of 18- to-24-year-olds run their own business, and only one in ten of 25-to-34-year-olds. In other words, South Africa has roughly half of the youth entrepreneurship levels of its economic equivalents.

“A critical part of SBU’s mission is to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice. Through partnering with Adopt-a-School Foundation we aim to expose learners to new opportunities and to provide our SBU clients with the opportunity to become role models and motivate school learners,” says Seapei Mafoyane, Chief Operations Officer of Shanduka Black Umbrellas.

Shanduka Black Umbrellas and Adopt-a-School Foundation are both projects of the Shanduka Foundation. The Shanduka Foundation plays a significant role in areas crucial to the development of South Africa, including education and small business and entrepreneurial development.

“Separately the Adopt-a-School Foundation and Shanduka Black Umbrella are drivers of significant change in their sectors. It is so encouraging to see the two organisations collaborating to inspire the youth this Mandela Day,” says Donné Nicol, Executive Director of Shanduka Foundation.