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Eskom youth entrepreneurship initiative achieves results

The Eskom Development Foundation in partnership with the Education With Enterprise Trust (EWET) has created long-term opportunities for South African youth through the Youth Enterprise Society (YES) initiative.

The programme runs in conjunction with the Foundation’s annual Simama Ranta School Entrepreneurship competition, which aims to recognise South African secondary schools that are exemplars in entrepreneurship education, Eskom said in a statement.

“YES and Simama Ranta seek to empower young people by teaching and encouraging them to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice,” the power utility explained.

Adding that the programmes inspire the youth to become job creators instead of job seekers by learning the skills to start and run successful businesses.

“As we celebrate Youth month and with youth unemployment at alarmingly high levels in South Africa, the importance of such initiatives cannot be over emphasised,” the parastatal noted.

Eskom youth entrepreneurship initiative

In 1999, Pesalome Moilwa joined the YES programme at Thotagauta Secondary School in Welkom.

Through this programme Moilwa developed the necessary skills that has led her to becoming a successful entrepreneur, running her own guesthouse.

She said that the initiative gave her the basic foundation and knowledge that sparked her interest in entrepreneurship. Read more…

“The lessons and case studies help build a learner’s confidence and self-esteem. Your mind-set changes, your language skills and behaviour improve as you travel around the country and meet other competitors. After all this I found it easier to unleash my potential and turn my passion into a business idea,” Moilwa noted.

Moilwa has been running Welkom-based Rochilla Guesthouse since 2014. She had gotten the idea of opening a guesthouse in 2013 when a political party hosted a provincial meeting in the town and people struggled with accommodation while those who found accommodation complained about the quality of service.

Moilwa sees opportunities and a huge growth potential for her business, especially considering that Welkom is a mining town surrounded by many agricultural areas.

After enjoying some success with her award-wining guesthouse, she wants to expand and grow it into an internationally renowned local attraction in the hospitality industry.

“I’m grateful for the launchpad to my business career, the YES programme. It is a great youth empowering initiative which has taught me that opportunities come all the time in many forms while also preparing me for the many challenges that come with being in business,” she said.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.