Naledi, like many other Alexandra youth, went to high school in the neighbourhood which had a computer lab like many others in the vicinity. But, what they didn’t have was access to the internet. This made it difficult for her and her peers to access online portals to apply for bursaries and higher education institutions.
Considering her and her peers circumstances, Naledi came up with a bright idea that would not only benefit her and her immediate circle but youth in other Alex high schools, and Gauteng and SA at large. For a fee, she would make applications on behalf of matriculants to universities of their choosing as well as offer them coaching for writing admission essays.
Only a year into her business ‘Growth’, Naledi and her team have managed to tour the majority of Gauteng as well as receives applications from learners in North West and KZN processing an incredible 225 applications on behalf of matriculants.
Seeing how well Growth was doing, the Gauteng Department of Education invited Naledi and her team to exhibit at their Fifth Annual Expo to showcase to schools and learners what her business has to offer. Naledi takes pride in Growth’s unique selling point being their interactive platform that offers applicants writing workshops, career guidance, and coaching.
When asked what specifically about being from Alexandra adds to her hustle as an entrepreneur, she states: “Coming from a township becomes an end for many. I’ve learnt to look past my immediate environment and take risks which is the most fundamental quality of any entrepreneur.”
She is passionate about exposing young minds in her communities to greater opportunities and reminding school-goers to have faith in themselves and their abilities.
Naledi notes that acquiring funding and investment has been one of her biggest challenges thus far. There is also now additional uncertainty around when schools will reopen. Nonetheless, she hopes that in these trying circumstances, the department, parents, learners and businesses like hers will continue working together to ensure that the negative effects on academics will be as minimal as possible.
– Words by Bonolo Kekana
Written by: Y