Enter youth entrepreneurship competition

Pictured are youth at last year’s Youth Entrepreneurship Day.

Cape Town youth who run their own businesses can benefit from the Youth Entrepreneurship Competition hosted by the Youth Entrepreneurship Network South Africa (YENSA) and starting on Monday June 20 and closing on Monday July 11 at 11pm.

“As part of the Youth Month commemorations of June 16 1976, historical disadvantaged youth with start-up, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), partnerships, or co-operatives can enter the competition.

“The prize is R10 000 (ten thousand rand) in equipment and tools for the business,” said Timothy Jacobs, projects co-ordinator for YENSA.

Youth or majority youth-owned businesses that enter must operate in information and communication technology (ITC), manufacturing, engineering, construction, maritime, tourism and hospitality and retail. The top 100 entries will go through elimination rounds for a winner to be chosen.

The competition is made possible because of a working relationship with Khalid Sayed, member of the provincial legislature and political constituency head: Cape Town Central and Atlantic Seaboard, who said: “Young entrepreneurs in Cape Town need to seize the opportunity presented by YENSA to show that they are serious about transforming the economy of South Africa. They need to be at the forefront of creating employment. I want to commend YENSA for this competition and call on businesses to support this initiative.”

“Unemployed youth should not rely on a government basic income grant. We cannot have a South Africa where the unemployed youth are trapped in a government cycle of reliance,” said YENSA member, Bongani Tokwe. “The competition aims to address the country’s high unemployment rate, particularly among youth.”

Those who enter must commit to attending a Youth Entrepreneurship Day on Thursday August 4, of which government developmental finance agencies would be part of. The agencies will have information tables and make presentations to explain their services and resources available to youth entrepreneurs, how they can help and how their services can be accessed. Businesspeople from various business sectors will speak to youth on the pros and cons of starting your own business and making it profitable.

“YENSA is dedicated to identifying, creating, and encouraging youth entrepreneurship awareness and support. We want to empower young entrepreneurs to make an important contribution to the economic and social growth of the Cape Town metro and the broader South Africa in their area of interest through co-ordinating business contacts between youth entrepreneurs, identifying opportunities for entrepreneurs, facilitating local capital growth, fostering technological growth and skills transfer, and helping historical disadvantaged youth businesses with expertise. A solid code of business conduct will be established and propagated, driven by the values of non-racism, non-sexism, democracy, and a sustained sense of social responsibility,” explained Florence Hendricks, also from YENSA.

Youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years old can email YENSA at youthensa@gmail.com for the entry form and competition terms and conditions.