South Africa turns to cinema to build young entrepreneurs

It seems impossible until it’s done – this was one of the key messages remembered by schoolchildren who were part of Step Up 2 a Start Up II event.

The learners were given a toolkit and were encouraged to combine their theatre learning with their classroom learning. (Image: Primestars Marketing Facebook)

Brand South Africa Reporter

It seems impossible until it’s done – this was one of the key messages remembered by schoolchildren who were part of Step Up 2 a Start Up II event, held countrywide on 12 September.

Step Up 2 a Start Up II ran over five weeks on Saturdays, from 15 August to 12 September. About 300 learners gathered at specific cinemas each Saturday, where they learned how to start their own businesses. About 15 000 learners across the country were reached.

All five sessions ran simultaneously in 15 Ster-Kinekor cinemas across the country, including The Boardwalk in Richards Bay, Gateway Commercial in Umhlanga, North Cape Mall in Kimberly, and Sandton City in Johannesburg. All of the events began at the same time, at 9am.

Facilitated by PrimeStars Marketing and endorsed by Proudly South African, the initiative celebrates youth entrepreneurship on the big screen. Step Up 2 a Start Up II is mainly sponsored by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Absa, MTN, Sasol and Putco.

Brand South Africa contributed as well under its Play Your Part initiative. Play Your Part is a national campaign that encourages all South Africans to contribute to positive change. Step Up 2 a Start Up II is a perfect example of that because it encourages young people to identify and solve problems in their communities through entrepreneurship.

The learners were given a toolkit and were encouraged to combine their theatre learning with their classroom learning. Step Up 2 a Start Up II, said the organisers, also showcased role models and prepared learners for entry into the Maker-preneur of the Year Competition.

Inspired

Speaking on Saturday, Contrak Molewa of Bokgoni Technical School in Atteridgeville, Tshwane said that before watching the movie his ideas to start a business were scattered. “I have so many ideas. And I now know which direction I want to go to.”

The 17-year-old said the film taught him that it was okay to fail in order to succeed. “The film was inspiring. I found out that Steve Jobs also failed a few times. Another thing I learned was that networking was important.”

Moses Mhlwana, a 16-year-old learned from Bokgoni Technical School, said he realised that entrepreneurs must have ideas that would help Africans. People must benefit from your idea. “As an entrepreneur you should think about how you can improve life [of those around you].”

Vanessa Sibanda said she did not know that starting a business would be so easy. “I learned [from the film] that we can get ideas from adults around us,” said the 13-year-old, who attends Sunrise Secondary School in Diepsloot, Johannesburg.

The competition

In addition, the Maker-preneur of the Year Competition is open to learners in grades 9 to 12 who have participated in the Step Up 2 a Start Up II cinema programme. Schools attending were chosen by the Department of Basic Education. Other schools wanting to join the programme should contact the NYDA.

In the competition, the students need to adhere to the credo: “Design it, make it, sell it.” Competition prizes include bursaries and electronic goods. The competition closes on 30 October. The finalists will be notified between 16 and 20 November.

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