Metropolitan is currently touring the country, teaching teens healthy financial habits for their futures through the Kickstarz financial education programme. Thanks to a little help from Bolton Footwear – a leading South African footwear manufacturing company that also stocks well-known global brands – the financial services provider is better able to connect with this tough audience.
Kickstarz gives high schoolers the chance to start their very own sneaker companies (each with unique names and logos) and design their own pair of sneakers that they then market to the rest of the school. In doing so, and through several interactive lessons, the teens learn financial basics – from how to read a bank statement and plan and follow a budget, to more advanced issues like how to build up a good credit record and stay out of debt.
Upping the excitement of these lessons is having Bolton Footwear bring the sneakers designed by the best-performing business in the programme to life. The company has long supported young talent by employing up-and-coming shoe designers like Timothy Vermeulen, who is following in his grandparent’s footsteps – three of whom worked in the footwear industry.
The 27-year-old with a passion for 3D design believes that financial literacy amongst the youth is crucial in South Africa, particularly given the country’s weak economy. “Not a lot of young people are educated on saving and looking towards the future, but financial literacy can set them and South Africa up for success.”
He wishes that he had been taught practical financial lessons like saving, spending wisely and separating needs from wants when he was younger and shares that the biggest financial lesson he has learnt as a young professional is to save.
Timothy hopes to one day open his own business and, in doing so, be in a position to increase local footwear design skills as well as manufacturing and production. No doubt, this will require him putting his hard-learnt financial lessons into practice.