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.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.
Eskom has taken a step further in curbing unemployment in the country by honoring high schools leading the way in entrepreneurial action to improve the lives of their communities at the 2017 Eskom Simama Ranta Awards. The ceremony, was held at the Indaba Hotel on Tuesday, 29 August 2017, showcased how successful and sustainable youth enterprises are contributing to local economies. 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.
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’.The Eskom Development Foundation’s Acting CEO, Cecil Ramonotsi, says supporting programmes that drive entrepreneurship in youth is vital. “Entrepreneurship is the best catalysts for improving our economy and instilling key principles in school learners will ensure the country meets future growth targets and creates an inclusive future for our youth. The Eskom Simama Ranta Entrepreneurship Education Competition is one of the ways we are contributing to that future. The competition is one of our programmes geared at investing in young people, who are the leaders of tomorrow,” says Ramonotsi.