Sneakers Make Financial Literacy More Fun for Western Cape Kids

Metropolitan has undertaken the mammoth task of equipping SA teens (tomorrow’s adults) with financial literacy skills by taking its teen-tailored Kickstarz programme to schools nationally. Recently, 220 Grade 11 learners at Thandokhulu High School in the Western Cape became the latest to have been empowered to make better choices for their financial futures.

The Principal, Jimmie de Villiers, said: “This is the third year that the Kickstarz programme has been presented at our school and we have found it to be a very valuable intervention and opportunity for our kids. With 2019 being named ‘The Year of the Learner’ by the Head of Education, the programme’s focus on entrepreneurship and creativity tie in perfectly with the year’s aims of not only exposing students to academic activities, but also providing them with opportunities that encourage creativity and engender a spirit of entrepreneurship – everything that Kickstarz does, over and above giving them practical, marketable skills. The programme will give some of our learners the chance to discover the entrepreneur or creative within themselves, something which they might otherwise not have had the opportunity to do, particularly as our school is maths and science focused.”

Kickstarz taps into teens’ love for sneakers by challenging them to start their own (fictional) sneaker companies and market their own uniquely designed shoes to the rest of the school. This, together with several interactive money management lessons, equips kids with skills like how to read a bank statement, plan and follow a budget, build up a good credit record and stay out of debt.

On completion of the programme, the young entrepreneurs get to display their sneaker designs and a judging panel decides which was the best-performing ‘business’, with all members of the winning team walking away with a pair of sneakers made using their design. At Thandokhulu, the day’s excitement was upped by an appearance by Kyeezi from Good Hope FM and Metro FM, who emceed the event.

Since being piloted in 2016, more than 11,000 learners from schools across South Africa were empowered through the programme, with 94% of students now being able to create a budget, 56% displaying an understanding of financial terms and phrases and 99% being more likely to save money. In addition, 95% of parents felt that the Kickstarz programme was a good way to teach children about money management.

Not only does the programme hone the learners’ financial and money management skills, it also improves their life skills, with kids who participated in the programme reporting that they gained increased levels of confidence, learnt how to work in a team and found a sense of belonging by achieving something together.

“Kickstarz also opens entrepreneurship as a career option which is crucial given South Africa’s severe youth unemployment problem,” says Charlene Lackay, Group CSI Manager at MMI Holdings.

“By teaching youngsters these skills now, we can hopefully begin solving the country’s consumer debt crisis,” she concludes.

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