In 2011, research conducted by Mastercard found, that for every 100 male business owners in South Africa, there were less than 40 female business owners. This was despite the fact that women have equal access to employment opportunities and tertiary education.
To help address the imbalance, Mastercard Worldwide supports Junior Achievement South Africa's (JASA) globally recognised entrepreneurship programme, JA BizVenture.
The programme teaches 450 female students from 10 South African schools, entrepreneurial and life skills. The girls also gain practical experience by starting up and managing their own business during the course.
Says Linda McClure, Managing Director of JASA
"This programme equips young women with the skills they need to launch their own businesses, so that they in turn can employ others. A project like this will help break the cycle of unemployment faced by school leavers that threatens the future of South Africa's youth."