The youth want opportunities to prove themselves and help uplift themselves, their families, and their communities and do not want handouts, says City of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.
“As part of our organisational development and transformation plan our youth development strategy has always been transversal in nature. Across our directorates we have multiple programmes which serve to capacitate the youth,” she told the #YouthStartCT top 100 finalists at a ceremony in the Civic Centre this week.
These ranged from youth at risk programmes, learnerships and apprenticeships to internships. In the city’s proposed 2017/18 budget, funds had been set aside within the corporate services directorate to the value of R5.5 million for external bursaries; R6.7 million for learnerships; and R9.9 million for apprenticeships, De Lille said.
The city’s approach to youth development was multifaceted, taking into account the many problems facing the youth. These included projects focusing on providing life skills to young people, providing work and employment readiness skills to young people, building the capacity of youth formations, and raising awareness on topical issues that affected the youth.
#YouthStart was an additional programme put in place to help stimulate entrepreneurship among young people.
This entrepreneurial challenge was officially launched on Monday, 6 March. Young people between the ages of 18 and 35 were encouraged to submit their existing businesses which currently create employment opportunities for youth, or a business idea which planned to include employment opportunities for young people.
The competition was an accelerator programme for start-up entrepreneurs and the overarching aim was to contribute to skills development, innovation, and the development of entrepreneurship in the city.
The top 100 finalists would all receive business and entrepreneurial training. Absa was offering access to their “ready to work” programme to all top 100 youth as well as business development support training over five days.
The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) had offered support to all youth who entered the competition and made it to the top 100. Appointments would be set up to meet them.
Seda would provide customised non-financial services in line with its mandate to the selected youth entrepreneurs on, among others, business diagnosis analysis, management system implementation, joint venture and business-to-business facilitation, facilitate registration of new business entities, co-operative facilitation, drafting business plans, facilitate access to finance mentorship, franchising, and export development and promotion programmes.
Absa will include the top 10 in their financial literacy programme and will also donate computer notebooks to the 10 finalists. To the top three winners, Absa was offering bespoke entrepreneurship training and seed capital to the value of about R65 000 to kick-start their business idea. The top three winners would also be given targeted business support from Seda, who would pay 90 percent of what the business advisors and the entrepreneurs agreed on to pursue in terms of their respective projects.
“Our tertiary institutions have been bold in their contributions as well. The University of the Western Cape will provide two places for winners in the top 10 in UWC’s eTools Kit for Entrepreneurs accredited training programme. Through the University of Cape Town’s MTN solution space in Philippi Village, they will provide four ‘hot desk + internet’ prizes to run for a period of six months.
“The Raymond Ackerman Academy, also associated with UCT, is making three spots available in their July 2017 class for idea stage entrants in #YouthStartCT. This is valued at approximately R100 000,” De Lille said.
For the top five businesses, False Bay College would provide structured GrowthWheel Assessment by certified GrowthWheel advisors; innovative and practical learning programme to accelerate the growth of their businesses; access to physical incubation which included the use of machinery and equipment and technical support for wood and engineering businesses; access to their innovation hub which included boardroom facilities, internet, and workspace/office desk space; allocation of a seasoned and experienced mentor for six months; and assistance to market linkages based on the product or service development. The value of this prize was estimated at R50 000 per beneficiary amounting to a total of R250 000.
SMME Opportunity Roadshow Moves On From Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth Is Next
The 2017 SMME Opportunity Roadshow, which opened in Gauteng on 20 April and moves to Port Elizabeth (19 May), Durban (19 July) and Cape Town (6 September), offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to hear expert opinions on sustainable business growth.
Over 450 delegates, including SMME owners, corporates and funding agencies attended the Gauteng event.
The SMME Opportunity Roadshow was created to empower growth in small, sustainable businesses in support of the national government’s drive to create job opportunities and boost the economy. Industry experts in finance, strategic management, tendering and marketing shared their knowledge and insight with delegates at the roadshow.
“Entrepreneurs have a passion, spark, flavour and drive that education cannot give,” said Martin Ackerman, CFO of Thevia, a green economy company that manufactures roof tiles made from 99% waste materials, in addressing delegates.
“The small business sector has huge potential to address the key priorities of government,” said Mandy Mtyelwa of the Department of Science and Technology. “SMMEs are the agency for economic growth and in order to improve South Africa, the country needs a transition from a mineral-based economy to a knowledge-based economy, which entails improving the quality, quantity and access to information.”
One of the key sponsors of the roadshow is Old Mutual, which is committed to the growth of small businesses throughout South Africa.
“The SMME Opportunity Roadshow gives entrepreneurs the chance to learn from and connect with experienced entrepreneurs, who faced the same challenges as they do and excelled in their business and life. In addition to being a great networking opportunity, the roadshow educates entrepreneurs on how to grow their business, recognise and seize opportunities and protect their income,” said Old Mutual’s Personal Finance head of marketing, Ntombekaya Tisani.
WEF Africa 2017: Durban, Joburg and Cape Town join global list of Treepedia cities
Treepedia, an interactive website that measures the “green canopy” – trees and vegetation of cities around the world – has included Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town as its first African cities.
The announcement was made during the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban on Friday.
Treepedia was developed by the MIT Senseable City Lab in collaboration with WEF’s Global Future Council on the Cities and Urbanization. It allows city dwellers to view the location and size of trees within their communities, as well as to submit input to help tag and track them.
According to a statement from WEF, by enabling comparison between other cities, it aimed to encourage advocacy among residents to grow their green canopy.
The green canopy is an important and integral part of urban life. Trees help mitigate extreme temperatures, provide a natural respite from traffic, noise and congestion, and improve the quality of life for those living in urban environments.
Treepedia’s aim is to increase people’s awareness of these benefits and encourage greater interest in maintaining and growing urban habitats.
Initially, Treepedia launched in 10 global cities, including Geneva, Tel Aviv and Boston. It has since grown, and with the addition of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, now covers a total of 25 cities, with more cities expected to be added in the future.
“As many cities experience warming temperatures, increased storm frequency and continued air pollution, the well-being of our urban trees has never been more important,” said Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT Senseable City Lab.
“We present here an index by which to compare cities against one another, encouraging local authorities and communities to take action to protect and promote the green canopy cover.”