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12 June 2018
ABSA Funded Students Financial Literacy

ABSA Funded Students Financial Literacy: Earning While Learning

BCom student Welan Spogter has held a part-time job since first year, works as a student assistant, and even sells accessories to help fund her education. Earning while learning is not uncommon among UWC students - but sometimes a little financial guidance is needed. Enter ABSA, who - in collaboration with UWC’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation - ran a workshop on Student Financial Literacy on 11 to 12 June 2018.

Welan was one of dozens of students who attended the workshop, which has armed her with enough advice to keep her businesses going and growing strong, and she looks forward to implementing the new advised changes in her spendings.

The ABSA workshops focused on the importance of spending, investing and saving money - part of the bank’s community outreach project, itself part of the government’s initiative to improve financial awareness in South African citizens.

Lucas Roland, one of the ABSA trainers who conducted the workshop, emphasizes that training and literacy can help develop financial literacy, but it is up to individuals to make the most of their entrepreneurial ambitions.

“If you want to have multiple incomes - and you should, in these uncertain times - you need to have two things: a positive attitude and a hunger to start a business,” he says.

One of the other approaches that ABSA has taken in making awareness about finance is through the ReadyToWork initiative - an online course that helps prepare young people for the critical transition from education into the world of work.

Consisting of four modules which focus on work, people, finance and entrepreneurial skills, the digital initiative allows students who score an average of 80% on their assessments to job shadow at Barclays Africa.

The activation of this course was done after the workshop on campus, where students were taught how to create an effective Curriculum Vitae, open an investment account, and so forth.

The collaboration between ABSA and CEI is strengthened by their shared aim of generating successful outcomes in the areas of entrepreneurial education, innovation and small business development.

“These initiatives because they broaden the students’ awareness of how to use the available resources in order to brighten their future,” shares Lucas. “That’s especially profound during this month of the youth.”

Attending CEI events encouraged Welan to start her own small business - which helps her buy her textbooks and other necessities for her courses, and also gives her some financial independence.

Welan is one of the lucky students who received an ABSA bursary for 2016 and 2017 - a blessing after she could not receive financial assistance in her first year and was forced to take out student loans.

“If it wasn’t for ABSA, my dad would still be paying monthly installments on my student loan,” she says. “Now that weight is off my shoulders, and I can concentrate on my studies and my businesses.”