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JA adopts UK entrepreneurship programme for pupils

image INNOVATIVE: JA Swaziland Executive Director Jean Mwenda.

AN initiative which aims to promote entrepreneurship to school pupils is coming to Swaziland fresh from the streets of London.

AN initiative which aims to promote entrepreneurship to school pupils is coming to Swaziland fresh from the streets of London. 
Citrus Saturday, an initiative of the University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom (UK), will be taking place at the Mbabane Mall on November 9, starting at 9.a.m. Junior Achievement (JA) Swaziland Executive Director Jean Mwenda said the initiative would be coming to Swaziland from UCL through the local entrepreneurial programme. 
She said JA Swaziland was the country’s branch of the international organisation which aims to inspire young people to succeed in a 21st century global economy. 
She said the organisation approached the Commonwealth Secretariat seeking a project which would complement their programmes for older children.
Mwenda said on Saturday, the initiative would see teams of Grade 6 pupils from Baha’i Primary School set up lemonade stands and sell cold drinks to the public. “Citrus Saturday is a charitable education programme developed by UCL advances and part-funded by the European Union’s Interreg 4b NWE programme grant for Open Innovation. 
“The expansion into Africa has been supported with funding from the Commonwealth Secretariat. The aim of the day is to inspire and encourage young people to consider setting up their own businesses in Swaziland, by providing an experience of running a business for a day,” she said. 
Mwenda said the pupils organise nearly every aspect of the business, from deciding what cold drinks to serve, budgeting for costs and deciding sale prices, as well as how and where to sell their wares on the day.
She said in tandem, the Citrus Saturday team would be working with the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) branch of ENACTUS. 
She noted that ENACTUS was an international organisation dedicated to using entrepreneurial action to change lives and provide student volunteers to supervise teams from the schools taking part. Mwenda said Citrus Saturday was set to feed into the JA Company programme. “This programme inspires the primary school pupils to start thinking and actually run a business for a day. 
“This is an excellent build up to the point when they are in high school where they actually participate in the JA Company programme, learn a bit more and scale up their entrepreneurial skills,” she said.
Mwenda said this programme was recommended to JA Swaziland by Professor Peter Rosa, who was engaged by the Commonwealth Secretariat to review JA programmes early this year. She said Professor Rosa developed the new JA extended programme and one of the recommendations was for JA to start engaging pupils from an early stage.
Commonwealth Secretariat
plays major support role
JUNIOR Achievement (JA) Swaziland has expressed gratitude towards the Commonwealth Secretariat for its technical support to the organisation.  
Executive Director Jean Mwenda said through this support, JA had been able to pilot an advanced entrepreneurship programme for past JA graduates in partnership with UNISWA’s Entrepreneurship Business Development Centre (EBDC).
She then invited the nation to support the pupils as they run a business on Saturday. 
She said the programme was designed in such a way that it was fun and the pupils made money in the process while learning the basics of planning and running a business. 
Meanwhile, Citrus Saturday Manager Jack Wratten, who is currently in the country for the duration of the project said this was a fantastic opportunity to trial Citrus Saturday in a radically different setting to where it was successfully operated so far. 
“Already we have been buoyed by the enthusiasm all the organisations taking part have shown towards taking part in Citrus Saturday. Most importantly, I’m hoping that it will be life-changing for those taking part and inspire them in a lifetime of entrepreneurship,” he said. 

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