Eskom Simama Ranta high school enterprise 2010 competition

Two young Cape Town-based learner entrepreneurs, representing their school, have tasted success in the competitive world of home ware design and clothing manufacturing as a result of their participation in a powerful new entrepreneurship education programme launched by Eskom Development Foundation in 2010: the national and provincial Eskom enterprise education Simama Ranta schools awards programme. 2010.The business idea of designing and manufacturing a range of clothing, curtains, bed linen and decorative metal-ware, paid off when they were selected as award finalists for their province for their excellent products and business plans.  

Simama Ranta is an awards programme that aims to identify, to honour and showcase those South African secondary schools that are true exemplars in entrepreneurship education in the country. The name Simama Ranta means empowering (Simama) the South African economy (Ranta) through entrepreneurship education. These schools are addressing a crucial priority in South Africa - to prepare learners to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice and ultimately become creators of jobs rather than job seekers. The goal of this national programme is to provide a variety of models of comprehensive, quality entrepreneurship education, representing South Africa’s diversity.The initiative will encourage the winning schools to serve as leaders and mentors of other schools.

As part of the Simama Ranta Awards adjudication process, the young entrepreneurs at Ravensmead high school had to submit a detailed competition entry form, including a 7-page narrative explaining the school’s entrepreneurship education initiative and how it exemplified the ’eleven principles of entrepreneurship education’.The entries also had to supply supporting evidence for the project, together with a description of the demographics of the learners and teaching staff of the school. 

Nine provincial finalist schools, to be known in future as provincial entrepreneurship education schools, were selected from the large number of entries received from across the country.The adjudication panel, representing both public and private sector, included representatives from the Department of Education, business people and experts in entrepreneurship education, who selected a school from these nine provincial winners to be the ultimate national winner, to be known as the National Entrepreneurship Education School. The adjudication criteria were based on selecting distinctive entrepreneurship models that offered demographic variety in areas such as geographic location, socio-economic status and grade levels covered.The winning schools will now be known as the top-rated entrepreneurship schools in the nine provinces and in South Africa.

As a winning finalist in the Simama Ranta Awards programme, the learners from Ravensmead high school, together with the eight provincial finalist schools, were given the opportunity to exhibit their projects at the prestigious Business Opportunities & Franchise Expo, held in September at the Coca Cola dome in Johannesburg. They met thousands of visiting business people – excellent exposure for this fledgling business and its enthusiastic young entrepreneurs.

The educators and learners reported that they were really inspired by their participating in the expo. They reported that they learned how to sell their products and how to work with other people; met many other successful entrepreneurs and received advice from them on running businesses of their own.From a commercial success point of view, they actually sold some of their goods.The winning school also received an offer of help to set up a website for their business.

An additional prize for the learners came in the form of an invitation to participate in the glamorous Business Investment Competition Awards on 15 September in Gauteng, where the national Simama Ranta Schools Awards Programme winner was announced.  Each of the winning schools was awarded with a cash prize to enable them to fulfil their roles as ambassadors of entrepreneurship education.

The winning school team commented about the future: “This award has made not only us proud, but also our school, our educators and our community.We can now see ourselves as future business people.Our advice to other young would-be entrepreneurs is to work hard to realise one’s dreams – it will not be easy, there will be lots of obstacles, but one should persist in one’s efforts.The sacrifices will be worth it”.

Winners, Ravensmead high school representatives from the Western Cape receive
their award from Mr Bobby Soobrayan, Director-General from the Department of Basic Education