For one who has a passion to work with children, the most common business idea that would likely come to mind is organising lessons where they can learn to read and write, as well as other gain other academic knowledge.
But Gobonaone Modisane chose the uncharted area, setting up Southern Africa’s first culinary academy that focuses primarily on child development. With a degree in Special Education from the University of Botswana in 2008, majoring in both Special Education and Home Economics, she had a deep desire to work closely with children.
This led to her non-stop research, when she stumbled on the Young Chefs Academy, an international franchise which teaches children cooking skills and baking techniques.
Gobonaone is now the owner and managing director of Young Chefs Academy, Botswana, a unique company with a mission to teach children the joy and value of cooking, and to provide an interactive learning experience that gives children the opportunity to develop a life- long love for the culinary arts.
She kicked-off operations in 2010 with only 2 staff members and 5 children. Today, the academy has seen rapid growth, with an enrollment of 75 young chefs who currently host a cooking show on Botswana TV called Young Chefs @ Play.
The academy has touched the lives of over 1,000 children through culinary teaching programs, equipping them with necessary cooking skills and helping them appreciate the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
It has also funded orphans, vulnerable children and special needs students to take part in this potentially life-changing journey.
Young Checf Academy has earned Gobonaone two WIBA Excellence Awards, ‘Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year’ and ‘Innovator of the Year’.