Linda Wilson is the founder of the Pocket Money Market, a youth programme with two main aims: The primary objective is nurturing a spirit of entrepreneurship in young children with the long-term goal that more South Africans will be able to sustain themselves independently and possibly in a more flexible lifestyle conducive to less commuting and more active parenting, which is often a challenge. The second objective, via an outreach component, is to bring real and immediate income generation to families where the means for the children to join the Pocket Money Market are simply not available.
The Young Entrepreneurs Pocket Money Market was proud to partner with the V&A Waterfront for an amazing Youth Day event on 16 June 2017, where we rolled out our Plastic Free Pledge. More than 50 kids under the age of 16 participated, all of whom signed the Plastic Free Pledge along with many, many members of the public who were keen to embrace the concept.
The traders pledged to no longer use any single-use plastic in their businesses as well as undertaking to engage with both suppliers and customers to do the same. The public could also choose to pledge, reducing plastic in any way they felt able to realistically make a meaningful change.
We were really lucky to have the fantastic Fikile Sizwenya from the Two Oceans Aquarium to explain to everyone how important it is to be aware of plastic pollution, and what a difference each of us can make for the environment when we make a Plastic Free Pledge. Having the endorsement of our premier anti-plastic activists and institutions made a huge impact on both the children and the general public, and we had excellent feedback.
The Pocket Money Market has been phasing out plastics since the beginning of 2017 and many traders have had to redesign and create new packaging solutions. The end result is so inspiring with many stunning designs and the costs have actually decreased so it’s 100% win-win. If a bunch of kids can get this right, I’d love to challenge all the major retailers to do the same!
We had a panel of judges and awards were given in various categories including environmental awareness. I was pleased to see that the award for Product Innovation went to Gabriel Arendse for up-cycling used coffee cups as seedling planters, and the award for Best Presentation went to Peyton Morgan who has designed stunning packaging from old loo rolls. Young Entrepreneur of the Day went to Khaya Reischman, who makes Twiggit candles from twigs and pebbles he collects.
While the primary aim of the Pocket Money Market is to nurture a spirit of entrepreneurship in young children it is a priority that they learn that business can and must be sustainable. Running it as an outreach programme also gives the Pocket Money Market a platform in some areas where environmental awareness is not a priority, and I have become aware of a pressing need to improve education there. Being a teacher of economics, business studies and environmental management, it is my opinion that at least one year of environmental management should be mandatory for all students studying business and economics.
Over and above that I am keen to start a project where the academic capital of environmental experts is shared and the format I have in mind is for the guides and rangers from the eco-lodges to give talks and workshops during the low season. I believe for a destination to describe themselves as “eco” they need to be actively participating in education campaigns alongside rehabilitation projects. We are past the stage of recycling and conservation, and must now focus on zero waste and rehabilitation, and the economy needs to transform from the endless growth model to one of sustainability.
The kids of today are creative and inspired, with a little guidance they can really #BeTheChange.
- For a full report on the market day and to enquire about the free holiday workshops, market and busking events, please visit the Pocket Money Market website
- The next markets will be on 29 July at Longbeach Mall and 9 August at the V&A Waterfront.