Young Rustenburg Entrepreneur Heads To US for Mandela Fellowship

Posted on June 15th, 2017
Biz News

Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (15 June)

A young Rustenburg entrepreneur, Terry Bogopane jets out for the United States of America on Thursday to participate in the in the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative.

Bogopane, 35, from Phokeng near Rustenburg is the managing director of Kgokagano Media, said he was happy to participate in the program and hope to hone his leadership skills with other 999 young leaders selected amongst 63,000 applicants of the sub-Saharan Africa.

The program will run for six weeks starting on June 15 until August 3.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) for Young African Leaders Initiative is a flagship program of the US government that began in 2014 to empower young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking and has a network of nearly 3000 fellows from 49 Sub-Saharan African countries.

Bogopane has taken an active role in contributing to the desired goal of a better South Africa as an active participant in civil society and through entrepreneurship.

He founded the African Youth Entrepreneurs Network (AYEN), a platform that serves as a link between young entrepreneurs in the rural areas and networking opportunities, information, and access to mentorship.

“AYEN was founded on the heels of the discovery that most entrepreneurs in the grassroots do not get the same exposure to opportunities and information compared to their counterparts who are urban dwellers, we provide the succour for this by bringing these opportunities to their doorstep,” he said.

With AYEN, young entrepreneurs can share ideas and network with each other, they also get to access on the first-hand basis, how to run a successful business enterprise, the best practices they can use on their way to the top. (via African News Agency)

Q2 Business Confidence Falls To Worst Level Since 2008/09 Recession

South African business confidence decreased substantially by 11 points in the second quarter of 2017, the worst level since the 2009 recession, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) said on Wednesday.

According to the RMB/Bureau for Economic Research (RMB/BER) business confidence index released on Wednesday, confidence declined across all of the five sectors surveyed and might signal that the current business cycle downswing was becoming even more pronounced.

The RMB/BER index said second quarter pessimism was widespread, with confidence indices falling in all five of the underlying sectors and with all readings below the neutral level of 50.

At a reading of 29, the business confidence measure declined 11 index points from a level of 40 in the first quarter. Confidence was last this depressed during the great global led recession of 2008/09.

The survey said this was reflecting political uncertainty and concern over the economic policy outlook, as well as “persistently weak business activity”.

New vehicle dealers suffered the sharpest decrease in sentiment. This reflects expectations of even more conservative spending behaviour on discretionary goods by consumers.

The RMB/BER survey said depressed consumer confidence, high unemployment, subdued credit extension and modest growth in disposable income were expected to affect consumers’ willingness and ability to spend.

South Africa’s unemployment in the first quarter of 2017 increased by 1.2 of a percentage point to 27.7 percent, the highest figure since September 2003.

The South African economy last week entered a technical recession for the first time since 2009 after growth contracted by 0.7 percent in the first quarter of the year.

The economy slowed by 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2017, meaning that it has had two consecutive negative growth quarters which technically signals a recession. (via African News Agency)

GIBS Youth Survey Shows Youth’s Optimism Dampened By Political and Economic Uncertainty

This year’s annual youth survey, conducted by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), indicates that youth’s optimism is dashed by political, economic uncertainty, compared to results from five years ago.

In 2012, the GIBS Youth Survey highlighted a society that was upbeat about the future and their career prospects. Back then, 74% of learners felt South Africa was a good place to have a successful career.

In 2017, just 53% of respondents said they planned to build a future in the country. The about turn is a consequence of political infighting, ratings downgrades, the recent news that South Africa has slipped into recession and an unemployment rate of 27.7%. Currently South Africans under the age of 25, who account for 51.5% of the population, are hardest hit by unemployment.

The survey, conducted annually as part of the GIBS Career Expo, polls 2,500 Grade 11 and Grade 12 learners on a variety of subjects, from politics, race, career opportunities, the history of the country and the quality of the education system. While the racial demographics of the respondents broadly matched those of the country as a whole, the survey comprised 68% female respondents.

While the class of 2012 largely believed that South Africa would be a better place to work when they entered the job market in 2016 and 80% looked forward to a great life in the country, the learners of 2017 felt less prepared and certainly less confident. Only 56% felt that the quality of their school education was adequately preparing them either for the world of work or for tertiary studies. A more positive 64% had faith in the country’s tertiary education system to set them up for the future. (via Bizcommunity)