Tag Archive | "JCI"

JCI South Africa makes its maiden visit to the United Nations

Linda Ben from JCI South Africa

Junior Chamber International’s Linda Ben has been selected to be part of a distinguished panel picked for the February 2012 United Nations Economic and Social Council conference entitled “Breaking New Ground: Partnerships for More and Better Jobs.” This youth summit will be held in New York and its focus will be placed exclusively on the grave issue of youth employment opportunities.

The global economy has experienced two devastating economic downturns in two years. As a direct consequence thereof, youth joblessness spiralled out of control. Thus, the panel is going to seriously deliberate on practical and achievable ways to urgently reverse the economic trend and create youth employment opportunities.

Ben, who is the proud owner of Leshauas, an emerging and highly competitive management consulting company, is expected to share her brilliant business experiences with the conference delegates. The conference spotlight will also illuminate other notable young entrepreneurs. Chris Bashinelli, the Executive Director of Bridge the Gap, Eriko Yamaguchi, the CEO and founder of Motherhouse Company, and Abdul Mohsen Al-Badr, the Director of Programme Development, Al Ghad Youth Forum are among those who will contribute extensively during the much anticipated conference panel discussions.

Ben, who is the current JCI South Africa’s National Executive Vice President and the author of the youth procurement policy of her business, is expected to also present her innovative strategy to the conference and elaborate on advantages of such an initiative.

By: Itumeleng Motlhabi
JCI Mogale City

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JCI Best Business Plan Competition

Junior Chamber International Business Plan Competition

Junior Chamber International (JCI), a worldwide community of nearly 200 000 young active citizens in over 115 countries, provides development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. The South African arm invites young social entrepreneurs, to enter the JCI ‘Best Business Plan’ competition.

The National President of JCI South Africa, Mr. Tshepo Thlaku explains that what they need are young people between the ages of 18-40 starting small businesses to submit compelling business plans that aim at addressing challenges within their communities. This is a great opportunity as the finalists will get more than just a cash prize of R60,000 from the competition; they will also be provided with business resources, training, mentorship and networking opportunities with other young entrepreneurs from Monaco.

Entrepreneurs are required to enter the competition by submitting three documents: a completed entry form that can be downloaded at www.jcisouthafrica.co.za, an executive summary and a business plan for the creation of a new enterprise, endeavor or social activity designed to create positive change.

The organisation has seen a need to recognise and unleash potential for young entrepreneurs running small businesses. The business plan entries that will stand out are those that clearly demonstrate the anticipated benefit to the local community, innovation, quality, compliance with UN global Compact principles and a clear vision of how the business will surpass the competition.

  • Closing date for entries – 10 February 2012
  • Announcement of semi-finalists 29 February 2012
  • Presentations by semi-finalist – 10 March 2012
  • Announcement of finalists – 13 March 2012
  • Award Ceremony – 29 March 2012

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Jumpstart Your Empire


Ever dreamt of becoming a self-made millionaire, but failed before you even launched your brilliant idea? Many young people run successful businesses but there are many more that battle to jumpstart their empires. Setting up a business, especially in its early stages, is not for the faint-hearted. Youth find it particularly challenging to translate their business ideas into feasible and profit making businesses and without the right guidance, information and tenacity it is harder to succeed.

Before you venture into starting your business ask yourself, “Am I persistent, ambitious, committed, a self starter and willing to take risks?” There are no blueprint requirements or rules to what makes a successful entrepreneur but you need to be sure in what you want because you do have a lot to lose. You also need to have researched the industry that you would like to join. Is there any money to be made in the short or the long term? Do you need any licenses to operate? One can’t expect to plant a tree today and start enjoying the fruits it bears tomorrow the same principle applies when you venture into business. “About 80% of all new small businesses fail within the first five years. Wanting to be your own boss isn’t enough to make you successful” – SA Business Warrior

Tips and tricks to jumpstart your empire:
Know which company structure you want to adopt: Sole proprietor / Sole trader this is best suited when you would like to provide a service and your business is not asset driven and the owner is the sole employee. Income accrues directly to the owner and there are no complicated statutory returns other than meeting basic legal and tax requirements. Closed Corporation this popular and widely used structure gives a business a separate legal identity without the formalities of the Companies Act that governs (Pty) Ltd companies. Partnership best suited when you would like to have partners to share responsibility. This form of structure is formalised by a contract.

Religiously attend networking sessions: This provides a platform to put your foot in the door. Networking sessions are also low cost advertising strategies, it is not often that you can tell people about who you are and what you do without a formal appointment and fear of rejection. Remember to print enough business cards and exchange with as many people as possible.

Get operational quickly: The least complicated profit making business is selling or reselling. Research and find out what products are needed or can be brought closer to your community. You will then be able to make profit right from the beginning and this can be used as start up capital.

Join you local chamber of commerce: This is one of the best ways to get exposure and meet potential clients. This way you can even find companies in the same industry and learn from their strengths and capitalize on their weaknesses.

Monitor the growth of your company: steady growth is preferable over fast growth. Explosive growth would require more financing and more support staff. Slower growth reduces the amount of funding that you will require.

Choose to under-staff: In the inception of your business the entrepreneur must be the chief sales person (limit the amount to two and not more than 3). You must be able to play all the roles that entail keeping your business a float i.e. the cleaner, the receptionist, the tea girl/guy the messenger, the proof reader, the debt collector, the sales guy (etc).

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN and PLAN: Not every business requires funding. So before you quit your 9-5 make sure that you have enough saved to cover your costs when business is not making any profit. In the long run, what matters is not the fancy corner office or title. It’s the profit that you will use to pay your bills, grow the business even larger and secure the self-made empire you always wanted.

Remember in order to succeed you need to love what you do and trust that you can do it!
Next up we look at how a business plan can be the road map to your success.

By Lerato Makgobatlou
JCI Mogale City

Posted in CareersComments (5)

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