The Gap Entrepreneur Turns Kids into Business Creators

The Gap Entrepreneur Turns Kids into Business Creators


Vital Stats

  • Player: Andrew Smith
  • Company: Gap Entrepreneur
  • Passion: Instilling entrepreneurship in children from an early age.
  • Contact: ;+27 (0)12 332 1675

Ask serial entrepreneur and experienced franchisor Andrew Smith what drives him and he’ll tell you he wants to change the world, starting with South Africa.

To kick off the process, he’s launched Gap Entrepreneur, a franchise business that teaches post-matric and post-graduate students how to create a business by building one with them.

According to Smith, his is the only organisation worldwide that is doing this.

“The country is in a state of crisis,” he says. “There are few jobs out there, companies are scaling down, and we’re not creating new businesses. That’s why we established Gap Entrepreneur. We’re taking kids at grassroots level, teaching them how to think, equipping them with skills, and enabling them to become job creators.”

The organisation offers three programmes — one for children in grades 8 to 11, another for grade 12s, and a third for school-leavers.

It’s run by a team of people who are passionate about business training, and who have the real-world experience to help kids and young adults by equipping them with skills. That means the kids can go on to create their own income streams instead of hanging around waiting for non-existent jobs.

Smith, who has launched more than 200 businesses, has already set up eight Gap Entrepreneur business hubs in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Learners who enrol complete a ten-month training programme comprising 22 modules, and the participants emerge with an actual income-producing business that either shows them a path to further studies, or enables them to continue building their start-up.

A major coup for Smith’s organisation is his partnership with international wealth coach and philanthropist JT Foxx, who has much to share with the youngsters on how to build business empires before the age of 30.

Making a difference

  • If you want to change the world, step one is starting something that matters. Most life-changing journeys start with a single step.
  • Choose beneficial partnerships. Aligning with an expert in your field is an excellent way to build early credibility.

Keeping Girls in School. A Social Entrepreneurship Story

Monique Verduyn
Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.