2 September 2012

South Africa: Entrepreneurship Can Lift Women, Girls Out of Poverty

Pretoria — Entrepreneurship presents an opportunity for women and girls to lift themselves out of economic hardships and change the direction of their lives, says Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe.

Addressing Grade 12 learners from the Free State, who participated in the Techno-girls Entrepreneurship workshop on Saturday in Vanderbijl park, Thabethe said as a department, they were investing in the future through the Techno-girls programme.

"As government, we recognise the challenges that are faced by the girl-child, especially those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. The department has a vision and plans to create a large pool of black women that can take the country to the next level through technology and innovation," Thabethe said.

The entrepreneurship workshop, sponsored by Cell C, was aimed at introducing young girls in Grade 12 to the various study opportunities that exist in various sectors of the economy that they can pursue.

Thabethe thanked the teachers and the principals who had supported the learners through the process and hoped that they had drawn lessons from the programme and would pass it on to other girls they come across.

A representative from the Free State Department of Education Michael Tshabalala said it was encouraging to see government and the public sector investing resources in education and technological activities to empower young girls.

"The liberation of women and their empowerment signify the desire of social change for the better, it is with great programmes such as these that our schools can do better and function at a high level," said Tshabalala.

Three schools from the Free State were tasked with a challenge of presenting the most viable entrepreneurship model. Although none of the schools were crowned winners, Albert Moroka High School from Thaba Nchu was declared the most improved school.

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