When one thinks of bursaries, the first thing that comes to mind is companies investing in students by awarding them funding for their education. From the students’ perspective, it reduces the cost of studies and the liability of paying back student loans, but there are also major benefits for corporates that are overlooked.

The appeal for corporate support has grown among students over the past few years. Now more than ever, many young people entering the working world face a mountain of debt and a more competitive job market. Having financial security, along with mentorship and work experience, is highly beneficial to the student.

“Bursary opportunities have the ability to change the lives of both students and their families. Not only are their career prospects increased, but their confidence is also boosted by knowing that they have the backing of these big corporates. It’s important that we unlock these opportunities for young South Africans, as they are the future of our country,” says Meghan Slater, Head of Corporate Sales at The Red and Yellow Creative School of Business.

As for corporates, sponsoring a bursary programme helps them to achieve their marketing and B-BBEE targets. It also allows them to position their brand as one that has invested interest in education and in the upliftment of youth, which puts them in a favourable light. Below are some ways that corporates can expect to benefit by funding a student:

Talent development 

A bursary programme allows corporates to create a talent pipeline for future recruitment of students that are equipped with specific skills and knowledge that are attractive to the business. Corporates will have the advantage of being able to access a talent pool that other businesses don’t have.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSI)

It is no secret that CSI plays a big role in how a company is perceived by the public. This helps to build a positive reputation within an industry and makes a company more attractive to both consumers and potential talent. Often value is placed on how companies support their surrounding community.

Improve B-BBEE score 

The amended B-BBEE Act came into effect in 2019, allowing an increased opportunity for many young black students to receive bursaries for their tertiary education. With the amendment, came a new scorecard indicator that corporates had to adhere to qualify for points.

At the end of each financial year, corporates aim to achieve their skills development targets so that they can improve their B-BBEE score, and offering bursaries is the most effective solution.

“At Red & Yellow, one of our main objectives is for these young creatives to grow into leaders in our industry over the next decade, and we are proud to be a part of their education journey. These are the people that are going to help solve the world’s problems. We work with companies to elevate the impact of their bursary sponsorship to help grow a skilled and exceptional pipeline of young African talent,” says Meghan Slater.

Most tertiary institutions welcome the support of bursary programmes. By doing this they allow students, who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to further their education, the chance to better themselves and change their circumstances.

Here are some of the success stories from Red & Yellow bursary recipients:

Hluma Shoko – Bachelor of Arts: Visual Communications 

Bachelor of Arts Visual Communication student Hluma Shoko has been awarded a three-year bursary from the Alex Foundation. The sponsorship also includes a monthly stipend, mentorship from Joe Public advertising agency and the opportunity to join the agency after completing her degree.

“I value education, connections and most importantly the people around me. I want to use my degree to uplift budding artists in my community,” says Shoko. I am determined to further my studies, gain knowledge and essential experience wherever I am. I believe this will enhance my employability to a highly considered and recommended level.”

Michell Anele Mlalazi – Bcom Marketing 

This year, 25-year-old Johannesburg resident and BCom Marketing student, Michell Anele Mlalazi was awarded a Nnete Modise Bursary. It is sponsored by Abey Mokgwatsane, who set up the Foundation in honour of his late grandmother. The bursary is targeted at redressing the imbalance of access to quality education and access to a highly rewarding career in Marketing and Communications.

“I believe that being awarded this bursary gives me the required academic preparation and practical experience I need to realise my ambition. This opportunity will enhance my employability and better my financial position, not only to help my family, but also those that find themselves in the same position. I am a firm believer in paying it forward and letting down the ladder that was let down for me,” says Mlalazi. 

Anganathi Beyile – Bcom in Marketing 

“This bursary symbolises opportunity to me. With things not working out with my music career, it has given me a new lease on life as I don’t have to worry about finances. It gives me the opportunity to focus on my studies and is a new chapter for me.” 

After completing his degree Beyile wishes to start his own agency to showcase artists from different fields and tell brand stories. “Giving back is a big reason why I want my own business. I want the opportunity to run my own organisation with modern finesse, innovative methods and socially responsible culture,” added Beyile.

Amy Gajjar- Bachelor of Arts: Visual Communications 

Through a partnership between Red & Yellow and Publicis Groupe Africa, Amy Gajjar is one of three students who has been awarded a bursary that will equip her with top skills for the creative industry. 

“After my studies, I plan on applying for jobs at major design and advertising agencies. Whilst working, I plan on pursuing a degree in philosophy and linguistics. Overall, I plan on being a lifelong scholar while building my career. I would also like to venture into other degrees that don’t relate to design,” says Gajjar. 

“My advice to current and future students is that anything is possible in life with hard work and dedication. This bursary is a clear example, and if students can trust the process, they can achieve their dreams,” concluded Gajjar. 


NOTES TO EDITOR: Red & Yellow School of Creative Business.

Red & Yellow Creative School of Business is a CHE-accredited private higher education institution headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. It is an established cornerstone of the South African marketing, advertising, design and business industries, teaching its students to think creatively and equipping them with the critical commercial and 4IR skills that they need to thrive in a digital world.

Established in 1994, the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business offers degrees, advanced diplomas and certificates in marketing and commerce, digital marketing, user-centred design, graphic design and art direction, copywriting, digital content creation, as well as business and corporate offerings. The school also offers a range of popular online short courses and national certificates, and its highly regarded corporate training team works with some of Africa’s most well-known companies to deliver innovative, customised programmes focused around 21st century skills. 

Red & Yellow has deep, longstanding ties with industry and works with leading brands and agencies throughout Africa to ensure its students and alumni are always world-class and work-ready. Its students are regular nominees and winners at local and international awards ceremonies, including the Loeries, Pendorings and D&ADs. 

The school’s alumni include business leaders who have achieved remarkable career success, across the continent and internationally, such as Jason Harrison and Faheem Chaudry of M&C Saatchi Abel; Veli Ngubane at Avatar; Dorcas Onyango at Coca Cola; and Steph van Niekerk at Grey JHB, ranked as South Africa’s No. 1 Creative Director and No. 1 Copywriter in 2019.

In addition, Red & Yellow is a member of Honoris United Universities, the pan-African private higher education network focused on educating the next generation of African leaders and entrepreneurs with industry-ready skills. 

For more information, please visit www.redandyellow.co.za