Case Study: A Success Story Entrepreneurs addressing youth unemployment in South Africa?

How can the major mining companies begin to tackle the challenges of chronic youth unemployment in South Africa? By matching technical skills with entrepreneurship. That was the aim of the hairdressing skills development project funded by Glencore and run by Royal Hairstyles Training Academy and Salon.

Over a two-month period, Royal Hairstyles trained 12 individuals in the Witbank mining communities of Phola and Rietspruit.

The participants acquired both technical hairdressing and business basic skills, with an eye towards giving each graduate an opportunity to start her own micro-salon upon completion.  To this end, each graduate was provided a full hairdressing equipment set, along with a relaxer starter kit.

Within the first month of their graduation from the programme, half of the students have started micro-enterprises and are working towards renting a container to set up a professional salon in their community.

Royal Hairstyles believes strongly in economic empowerment through entrepreneurship for individuals coming from PDI communities.  It is not enough to provide technical skills without the business training to compliment it.  Hairdressing is one of the few trades that provides a pathway of success for people, regardless of their previous educational background.

Launched in February 2012, the vision of Royal Hairstyles Training Academy and Salon is to formalize the South African hairdressing industry.  In that vein, the company started a Services SETA-accredited academy to train beginners interested in entering the industry and experienced stylists looking to upgrade their skills.

Since inception, the company has trained nearly 300 people.  Over that time period, the company has worked on projects with the Department of Correctional Services, the Services Seta, the Afrisun Trust, Organic Root Stimulator and now Glencore.

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November 2, 2016 | Sean Walker

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