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Boost for Soweto's unemployed youth

By unknown | Jun 05, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

The launch at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto Campus last week of an entrepreneurship programme for unemployed youths came as a blessing for Promise Maimane, pictured.

The training programme, the brainchild of the institute's Centre for Small and Medium Enterprises Development in partnership with Junior Achievement South Africa, a mini-enterprise programme, is aimed at teaching unemployed youth business skills.

"This is exactly what I have been looking for because I want to start my own business," said 30-year-old Maimane.

"I grew up believing that finishing matric was a good platform to secure a job."

But 10 years after matriculating, Maimane said she was still unemployed.

"My parents instilled in me the need to matriculate.

"They used to tell me to go school and get good grades to secure a good job," she said.

"But here I am. I have never secured a permanent job since I matriculated."

Maimane said she believed that one had to be connected to get a job.

"I have tried to find a job and it is so frustrating. One of the jobs I secured was in a restaurant, but it lasted only a year," said the mother of a seven-year-old girl.

"I got tired of temporary jobs and I thought of starting my own business."

Maimane said because of this frustration she registered her own construction and project management company last year.

"I thought it was going to be easy because everybody was talking about women empowerment. I wanted to grab the opportunity."

But things did not go according to plan because Maimane could not get people who shared her dream.

She also feared failure because she did know how to run a business.

But her dream came true when she visited her local municipal offices to enquire about learnership programmes.

"That is how I came to know about the University of Johannesburg's entrepreneurship programme for the unemployed youth. It came at the right time," she said.

Maimane said she only attended the first lesson, but she has learnt a lot about running a business.

"I think this course will help me gather what I have been looking for. I will be taught how to run a business.

"I look forward to other lessons from now on," she said.


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