Giving your entrepreneurial skills a boost
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Giving your entrepreneurial skills a boost

Selina Rapulane

Student obtaining entrepreneurial certificates after the programme

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.” This quote by Tony Gaskins, was shared by Mr Ricky Ioannou: Director at JIKA Communications and Training, when he offered entrepreneurship training to students from 2-6 March 2020 at the Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park (VUTSGSTP).

As stipulated on their website, JIKA Communication and Training’s intense focus is on improving education and training in the public and private sectors, which has resulted in the development of an array of customised courses, including those accredited by the Sector Education Training Authority (SETA) and those endorsed by the Continuing Programme for Teacher Development (CPTD) for Teacher and School Management Development that is being implemented by the South African Council of Educators (SACE).

Mr Ioannou’s programme on entrepreneurship education comprised over 20 business simulation games geared to self-discovery, DVDs in which young South Africans share their journeys on the road to entrepreneurship, as well as reflective worksheets which small business units used over a week to develop business ideas.

“This programme is about changing people’s mind-sets to think creatively and critically. It is a real-life legacy programme,” said Mr Ioannou. He added that the programme is aimed at developing entrepreneurs within the community and then, in the long term, help them create small sustainable businesses.

During the last day of the programme, the students had to pitch their business ideas to potential investors.

“The students were shy in the beginning and since the methodology that I had chosen was for an active course, they were all required to participate. Eventually, they were excited to be on the programme and were very engaging,” Mr Ioannou said.

He is confident that the students have gained greatly in this programme and can now think differently, as they were showing signs of improvement.

“It is a great journey to see young people come out of their cocoons and embrace passion for their business. I really wish them well,” he said.

The programme provided the students with the chance to recognise commercial opportunities, build self-esteem, knowledge and skills. With opportunities such as these, they can move towards self-employment, which will continue to become an increasingly important element of economic growth and development in South Africa.

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