Following the launch of Scooler | The School Entrepreneur Movement and the subsequent Scooler R100k Clash in August, this entrepreneurial opportunity for school goers has been met with great success, amassing a phenomenal 500+ entries in the first two weeks. With Global Entrepreneurial Week coming up in November when the winners will be announced, students are clamouring to pitch their cool, existing money-making ventures/hobbies/businesses – an encouraging sign and further confirmation of the absolute necessity to create and instil an entrepreneurial spirit in our schools.
Scooler | The School Entrepreneur Movement provides a platform for students at school to start asking vital questions about alternatives to mainstream tertiary education. On the website and via social media platforms, students have access to valuable information about how to run a business; how to secure funding for their business; connection to like-minded youth and exposure of their existing school businesses / money making initiatives to the community, corporates and investors.
Founder of Scooler, Leon Lategan says that his sincere concern at South Africa’s rocketing unemployment rate from 2.4 mil to 6.08 million since 1995, with predictions of over 6.1 million in 2019, compelled him to launch Scooler. “We have also found a serious lack of information available to students at school around the subject of entrepreneurship, resulting in very few of them exploring this avenue after school.” He adds that statistics reveal grim prospects for school-leavers – 49% of students with Grade 12 and 23.3% with a tertiary education will not find jobs.
One also has to consider the extremely high unemployment rate of 5.98 million in South Africa, the excessive drop-out rates at universities – in 2017 alone, after 4 years studying at University the completion rate was only 36%, and at schools 533 491 students dropped out before reaching Grade 12! The prohibitive cost of tuition is also cause for concern where students can expect to pay no less than R120k for a three year degree, and that excludes living expenses and accommodation, not to mention the fact that more than 50% of students applying to get into university will not be accepted due to limited space. And, just to add salt to the wound there is the threat of automation, artificial intelligence and robotics to vie with too.
To create awareness about Scooler, The R100k Scooler Clash was launched on Wednesday, 22 August, calling on all Grade 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s and 12s to enter for free and battle it out to win R100 000 for the best existing business / money making initiative currently run by a student at school. The winner will receive a R50 000 cash prize and R50 000 worth of mentoring, coaching, advertising and social media exposure for their business. All the submitted businesses will be profiled on the Scooler website where friends, family and the Scooler community get to vote for who they believe is the best entrepreneur running a business at school. Four runner ups will each also receive R10 000 worth of coaching for their businesses.
ScoolerLategan says he is encouraged at the creativity and innovation from the entries to date, “We have a child that mows lawns to make money for transport to school, a teen techie who offers an online service for advice on all things electronic, and the environmentally conscious young lady who uses offcuts of fabric to make hair accessories, clothing and handbags, to name a few.” The entry deadline has been extended to 26 October and he urges kids to enter online and share their (s)cool ideas!
The time has come to stop waiting on government and business to take action, and develop and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in our schools to inspire our youth to explore other options to shape their own futures.
Here’s how: enter online at www.scooler.co.za
Entries close : 26 October
Voting closes : 02 November
Winner announced : 12 November