EEESAY 2019 Winners


Innovative High School Businesses Challenge Youth Unemployment

11 October 2019

EEESAY Project awards enterprising high school learners at annual events

An innovative high school project, EEESAY (Entrepreneurial & Environmental Empowerment for South African Youth), led by Teach A Man To Fish (TAMTF) in partnership with WESSA (Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa) provides a pathway to youth employment and poverty reduction through learner-led school-businesses in two provinces of South Africa.

For the last three years the EEESAY Programme has been an outstanding success. It has provided step-by-step experiential learning to learners where they have identified business opportunities, applied sound business planning, and implemented robust business plans to generate profit. The businesses have been a platform for enabling learners to develop and improve the essential skills they need to flourish in the world of work and further study.

In the past week their efforts have been rewarded and recognised at the final annual celebration events in the Eastern Cape and Kwa Zulu Natal, where they showcased their businesses, shared their experiences with each other and expressed their dreams for a sustainable future.  The catering and refreshments at these inspirational events were provided by learner-led enterprises, as has happened at most of the project workshops, too.

One of the most crucial skills that learners gain is the capacity to, and application of, iteration.  The year-by-year cyclical learning and process of assessing the business progress, reviewing, ideating, and running, prepares young people for the reality of the world of work in their futures.   Schools can invest the profits to develop both school and school business. At the same time, it is a great opportunity and platform for teachers to continue their own professional development.

EEESAY empowers South African youth to carve a sustainable future for themselves through practical business experience and exposure to environmentally-responsible entrepreneurship. The learner-led school businesses awaken learner potential, challenge their mindsets and stimulate an environment and aspiration for sustainable economic development that brings benefit to their community and environment. EEESAY fosters an environment where informal sector opportunities grow into successful business ventures. This combats the extremely high unemployment rate among South Africa youth that reached 55.2% in 2019 Q1.

The project was made possible through funding provided by the European Union Delegation to South Africa and private foundations.  EEESAY gave 4000 learners from 35 schools (in the Amajuba and Uthukela districts in KwaZulu-Natal and Amathole and Chris Hani districts in the Eastern Cape provinces) an opportunity to gain practical business skills by setting up and running an educational and environmentally-sustainable enterprise at their school over a period of three years.




EEESAY Award Name

Presented to

BEST BUSINESS PLAN is awarded to

KZN:  Thembela High School in recognition of their thorough and well thought out business plan for their business.

EC:  Joe Slovo High School in recognition of their thorough and well thought out business plan for their Tuck Shop business. Joe Slovo joined EEESAY only in 2019 and have made great strides this year to set up and run their tuck shop. They hit the ground running, by organising a fun run which generated R3017 in start-up capital to launch their business.

BEST ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL BUSINESS is awarded to Cathcart High School, EC, for the second time, in recognition of their continued outstanding efforts in environmental sustainability for creating eco-bricks for use in their school business.


KZN: Endakane High School for their persistence in finding good environmental solutions.

EC:  Vuselela High School, EC, who started a food garden and later identified and set up a piggery. Learners realised that waste from their school business could be used to feed pigs, and the manure from their piggery could be used in their food garden as fertiliser creating a closed loop.

BEST OVERALL BUSINESS 2017-2019 goes to

KZN:  Amazulu High School for their continued and sustained efforts with their business.

EC:  Byletts High School for their continued and sustained efforts with their catering tuck shop business. Byletts catering business has catered for many EEESAY events over the years.


KZN:  Amahlubi High School

EC:  WB Rubusana High School


KZN:  Phendukani High School for their reflective thinking and ability to grow and develop their business over the year.

EC:  Phakamani High School for their reflective thinking and ability to grow and develop their Tuck Shop business over the year.

IN RECOGNITION OF LEARNERS’ DRIVE AND DETERMINATION TO SUCCEED three schools in each province were celebrated; these schools have faced challenges and consistently worked through to find solutions and better ways of working.

KZN:  DNC Combined School, Mana High School and Sesiyabonga High School.

EC:  Nompumelelo High School, Ncedolwethu Senior secondary and Bulelani High School.



Broadcasters please note that TAMTF Programme Manager, Susannah Morcowitz and WESSA Project Manager, Sue Spies, and all winners, are available for radio and television interviews.

About TAMTF:

Teach A Man To Fish is guided by a simple, all-encompassing mission: to empower young people with the skills they need to succeed, in school, work, and life. We focus on developing and emerging countries. Globally there are more than 74 million young people unemployed (International Labour Organisation 2018). We believe that practical entrepreneurship education is key to tackling youth unemployment and poverty worldwide, and we know this turns job seekers into job creators.

We work with schools around the world. We equip teachers to help young people gain business and life skills through our practical School-Business Model. In the long-term, these skills will help our alumni secure a job or set up their own business after leaving school. Since 2006, we’ve created over 250,000 student entrepreneurs and 15,000 enterprising teachers through our global programmes.

Our philosophy is: give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.

We are a small organisation with big reach – since 2006 we have brought the pioneering school business model to more than 100 countries, and have staff based in Uganda, Rwanda, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and the UK.

About WESSA:

WESSA is a 93-year-old youthful and vibrant organisation with a rich history in South African conservation and environmental education.  WESSA researches, develops and implements focused, accredited and non-accredited environmental, ecotourism, education and youth development programmes throughout South Africa. We are the sole and proud implementor of all the international Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) programmes in South Africa, as well as an implementor of choice for various youth programmes on behalf of Government and the private sector. Our youth education programmes under the banners of Eco-Schools, Learning about Forests, Young Reporters for the Environment and Youth Entrepreneurship, together with our five outdoor education centres, make a critical contribution to youth development. We are developing and giving hands-on work experience to 800 unemployed youth through our Blue Flag, Green Coast and other Youth Programmes. We have a volunteer membership footprint throughout the country, with passionate members ensuring that local conservation and environmental issues are addressed. We are ‘People Caring for the Earth’ and we invite you to join us in our quest to become champions of the environment and achieving a more sustainable South Africa for all.

For more information contact:

Susannah Morcowitz, Teach A Man to Fish South Africa Country Manager
Email: or cell 079 859 6870

Sue Spies, WESSA EEESAY Project Manager
Email: or cell 079 504 4296


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