How does the Challenge work?
The selection criteria is based on schools having Agriculture Science as part of the curriculum or where there are a significant number of students involved in agriculture-based programmes.
The Agriculture Business Challenge
For Phase 1 – the Agriculture Business Challenge sponsored by the COB Credit Union Ltd., students undergo a series of training sessions commencing with Preparatory Leadership Training. During these training sessions, team leaders from the various schools are introduced to best practice business models with a view to helping them better understand the industry and opportunities available across the value chain of the agriculture sector.
"For the Business Challenge, each school team will pitch their idea to a panel of judges, and similar to the original $20 Challenge Framework, will be loaned $20 per student towards the working capital of the business."
For the Business Challenge, each school team will pitch their idea to a panel of judges, and similar to the original $20 Challenge Framework, will be loaned $20 per student towards the working capital of the business. Additionally, equipment will be provided up to a maximum of $1,000 per school based on the strength of the project proposal. Teams will be guided and mentored by volunteer Ambassadors drawn from the business community and the agriculture sector. There will be three Ambassadors per school drawn from the business community, the agriculture sector and the culinary arts profession. Following their successful pitching session, the teams will conceptualise and develop their business and run them for 8 months. During this period, they will be afforded the opportunity to showcase their businesses at the Agrofest Exhibition under a branded Agri-Business Challenge tent, as well as participate in a number of farmers' markets.
The Massy Foundation Agricultural Entrepreneurship Level 1(NVQ): Building Out Skilled & Competent Individuals.
The second Phase of the Programme focusses on building out skilled and competent individuals who will be able to progress up the career ladder, have improved employability and transferability and who will be recognized for their knowledge and skills. Phase 2, The Massy Foundation Agricultural Entrepreneurship Level 1 (NVQ) will focus on providing basic management tools and building entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours. The programme runs for one academic year, concurrent with the school year.
The technical knowledge and acumen acquired will enable students to make use of modern and innovative agricultural and business management practices comprising on-farm and off-farm value addition, innovation and growth. These skills, knowledge and practical experience will also expose students to the co-operative model.
A Holistic Intervention in our Schools
Student teams will be drawn from Agriculture Science, Food & Nutrition, Business, Visual Arts and Information Technology. The school teams will work together to create business cooperatives that model modern agricultural enterprises. This project therefore, is a holistic intervention that not only promotes teamwork, but allows students to recognize and value the wide array of skills that lead to successful business outcomes in the agriculture sector.