Foundation helps college graduates to become artisan entrepreneurs

The Second Chance Foundation focuses on providing comprehensive career guidance and development to trainee artisans so they can expand their skills sets to create viable businesses.

Working in partnership with the Western TVET College in the West Rand in Gauteng, Second Chance delivers an intensive pre-employment work orientation.

“Our vision is to empower the youth of South Africa, particularly when it comes to giving them the tools they need to prepare for the world of work and enhancing their entrepreneurial mindset,” says Dr Zodwa Magwenzi, Second Chance Foundation chief executive officer. “Our programme equips young people with the skills they need for entrepreneurship on top of the skills they obtain as artisans. That way, they can create their own jobs in the face of our rampant unemployment.”

These artisans are given insight into the entrepreneur’s mindset. This allows them to feel competent and capable of handling aspects of their careers. They are equipped to expand their artisan skills to create their own companies and work opportunities.

“Many people have skills, but they don’t know how to get into other spaces or get employment,” says Magwenzi. “We train them on income-generating projects before they go into full business training so they develop their skills incrementally.

“We have also started to focus on our star entrepreneurs — those who have used their skills to start high-impact projects that are good for themselves and their communities.”

There are some impressive success stories. Don Tshililo is one of the star entrepreneurs. A young man who started his own electrical engineering company on the West Rand, he now works with the municipality to handle the electrical requirements for housing projects. Another is Prudence Mdluli, who has become a flower-arranging expert with an impressive array of clients.

“We helped Prudence set up her company, gave her the skills she needed to get going and then helped her with a Wendy House where she could showcase her flowers,” says Magwenzi. “Now she handles work events, supermarkets and even funerals.”

He adds: “We believe that this is the future and we want to work with more TVET colleges to provide students with business skills so they can work and become independent citizens of South Africa.” 

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