Teenage Entrepreneurs Support Local Procurement

My best friend Inge van Staden and I are participants in the Solar Capital Entrepreneurial Development Youth Programme which we have been a part of since early this year.


We were both born in the Northern Cape, me in De Aar and Inge in Upington. Inge’s family then moved to De Aar and we attended the same primary school here. We have been friends since the sixth grade and have been inseparable ever since. We even take a lot of the same subjects – Business Studies, English, Afrikaans, Maths and Life Orientation.


That is actually how we became involved in the Programme. They were handing out flyers at our school, but our Business Studies teacher also spoke about it and encouraged us to attend. Other students from our school applied to do the programme along with us, but they fell out along the way because they weren’t as committed. We are pushed for time in Grade 12, so that was probably the problem. Inge and I were different though as we decided that we would take the chance and practice some time management.


The programme taught us to look around our environment and to take note of what is needed. After a KFC opened not long ago we noticed that there was no place in De Aar that sells healthy food that is easily accessible. I think that is a huge problem as there are a lot of overweight people these days, especially school children. It is this that inspired us to cater to people who want to live a healthier lifestyle.


We spontaneously did a trial run one day at home. We just mixed together a bunch of ideas. We got a lot of inspiration from websites as well as from local people in De Aar who made a contribution. We just mixed fun ideas together that we thoughtwould taste good. That’s how the recipes started.


We are going to prepare the food in a healthy way and we will strive to use 5% or less of processed foods. We will use whole wheat or gluten free wraps or pasta and source a lot of our food from a local sheep, vegetable and fruit farm. We will try our best to support the local community as much as we can when procuring goods. This is something that is very important to us.


Our business is scheduled to start this year in July just after exams. It will run during the holidays and when school reopens it will runs on weekends only. In October the evaluation ends and you can decide whether you want to continue with the business or extract the capital and close it down. As Inge and I both want to attend the University of the Free State next year, we will have to see what happens with the business.


This programme has really assisted us both with real practical experience of how to start a business. University will give us a theoretical background in our fields of study, but it won’t give us the confidence and practical experience as this course has done. I really recommend that scholars take this course next year as apart from the knowledge and experience gained, Inge and I have also gained confidence in our own abilities. To know that we can start and grow a business which could not only become a success but also offer employment to other people is exhilarating. Thank you Solar Capital.


Inge van Staden and Lu-Zahn Theron

From left: Inge van Staden and Lu-Zahn Theron

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