Youth entrepreneurship programme finds opportunity in climate crisis
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s landmark report paints a daunting picture for humanity. But a new Primestars programme shows youngsters how to harness a potential silver lining for both the planet and job-hungry South Africans: new employment opportunities in the green economy.
September and Ocotber saw the roll-out of the edutainment film, Karabo’s Kitchen, which kick-started the Step Up 2 A Green Start Up National Youth Green Entrepreneurship Programme.
“Climate change is happening now, and progressing at an alarming rate. We need to take urgent action,” said Martin Sweet, MD of Primestars. “A critical contributor to confronting the issue is a robust drive to educate South African youth on the dangers of climate change, as well as the new job and entrepreneurship opportunities available in the green economy.”
The programme has comprised four stages:
- The Edutainment Feature Film (Karabo’s Kitchen)
- The Entrepreneurs Tool Kit
- The STEP UP 2 A START UP National Youth Entrepreneurship Competition
- The Boot Camp and National Youth Entrepreneurship Awards
The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA), along with two of its members Mpact and Sappi, was among the sponsors of the programme which is now preparing for the final leg of the programme.
“Our sector not only believes in the power of wood and paper products, this power is backed by science,” says communications manager Samantha Choles.
The sustainable management of forests and the carbon storage of products we use every day, as well as new and innovative alternatives to non-renewable materials, provides young people with the opportunities to take the green economy forward.
“The three companies collaborated to develop an comic-strip-like infographic to highlight these opportunities – which extend from the forest right through to recycling,” explains Choles.
Sweet said that while climate change needs to be addressed at all levels of government and business, focussing on education solutions provides a long-term and sustainable way forward. This is where the programme will shine, equipping youth from under-resourced communities across South Africa to contribute to critically needed job creation in the green economy.
The National Youth Awards in December will be the culmination of the programme, where the best young entrepreneurs and green innovators will be recognised with bursaries, incubation, funding, resources and other support.
“Primestars is extremely passionate about this programme, and we are honoured to have sponsors on board that share the same passion for the programme and the potential it holds in offering young South Africans a better future. We extend our sincere gratitude to our sponsors,” concluded Martin Sweet.
Sponsors include: Sanlam; Sasria; Omnia; Clicks; Safripol; Absa: EOH: PAMSA; SAPPI; Mpact; Seda; Metropolitan; Mulilo; Regenesys; Raizcorp; Regent Business School; Chieta; Richfield; UJ Johannesburg Business School; Allan Grey Orbis Foundation; Zutari: WDB Investment Holdings; Seed Academy; Gauteng Film School; Buhle Waste; Berry Astropak; TTS; BCW; Green Cape; Proudly South African; Uber; Kulula; Entrepreneur Employability Education and Primestars Youth Start Foundation.
THE CINEMA-EDUCATION MODEL
Since its inception in 2014, the programme has successfully used the unique cinema-education model to activate the culture and mind-set of entrepreneurship in over 80 000 high-school learners and 2 500 teachers from over 1 000 under-resourced township schools across South Africa. This year, the programme aims to reach 12 000 Grade 10 – 12 learners from under-resourced communities across South Africa.
Step Up to a Start Up is designed to help young people move from a fixed mind-set (job-seeker) to a growth mind-set (job-creator) and encourage them to see environmental challenges as new business opportunities – a shift from making disposable products to producing reusable goods; using technology; encouraging critical and creative thinking; and teaching learners to prioritise people and the planet over profit alone.
While Primestars and YouthStart Foundation may be the catalyst for these impactful programmes, we cannot do it alone. If we are to succeed in achieving sustainable development, we must continue to encourage Public-Private Partnerships with like-minded organisations and individuals who share our vision. We invite co-investors to join our movement and contribute resources to enable the programme to reach more learners.
For learners, teachers and schools looking for more information: www.primestarsdigital.co.za
For organisations looking to make a difference and get involved, as well as media enquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org