SSA started out with the realization that the future of South Africa is solely on the shoulders of SA youth and if they do want to add value and make a difference, they need to empower the youth of tomorrow. SSA vision is to take sewing professionals and previously disadvantage groups; and instill in them the passion to become entrepreneurs rather than just being the worker/artisan. In the past 5 years SSA’s has proven their vision. They created their own intellectual property and invested over R3 millions of capital and with this paved the way to impact women not only from previously disadvantage groups but entrepreneurs on all levels of the market.
The SSA Business model as proposed will hugely support the high demand place on the tertiary education in South Africa, since only a small percentage of the 700 000 high school graduates that passed last year will be as expected be place in institutions of higher learning. This is largely owing to a lack of finances. As a result the South African job market is flooded with many school leavers that are unsure of how to further their education for making a living. While the benefits of a formal tertiary education are well documented, it is not the only opportunity available to post-matriculates.
As stated by Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year competition, rather than adding to the statistics of the unemployed, students should think entrepreneurially about furthering their education “In order to assist in rectifying the youth unemployment crisis in SA, the youth should be encouraged to explore entrepreneurial workplace options that will up skill them.” She also said that similarly to becoming a successful entrepreneur there is no single path to becoming a success in the workplace. It doesn’t start and end with a degree. The unemployment rate recorded at 27,1%, it is crucial that displaced students find other ways to learn and further themselves.
It was evident over the 5 years for SSA that entrepreneurs have the skills and intentions to become successful small enterprises. Unfortunately skilled entrepreneurs have the ability but a huge lack of start-up capital to secure their viable business to be a sustainable running concern and thus preventing many from being part of the economic growth in South Africa. This was due to limited business acumen, resources and market linkage. The latter was directly the driving force behind SSA’s motivation to source alternative funding structures or alternative funding and or grants to secure entrepreneurial success in the lower end of the job creation market.
The SSA income stream generating tool (SSA Business Tool) will empower the youth and women of today on ground level to evolve into entrepreneurs and manage sustainable businesses. SSA will support and empower each of their Business Units for a minimum period of 3 years, where after, they will formally be incorporated into SSA as a going concern with full autonomy.