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The City’s #YouthStartCT Entrepreneurial Challenge, in partnership with the Seed Academy, is designed to kick-start the businesses of 100 young entrepreneurs who have viable business ideas.  

The City of Cape Town’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate is turning its attention to would-be entrepreneurs in its latest youth development initiative.

The #YouthStartCT Entrepreneurial Challenge 2016 is an accelerator programme for start-up entrepreneurs who have viable business ideas that will also create jobs. The City is partnering with the Seed Academy to offer business skills development, mentoring, and cash incentives to the top performers in the challenge. This forms part of a broader strategy to address issues of unemployment, inequality and poverty.

The Seed Academy, which is running the challenge on behalf of the City, is a training, incubation and funding ecosystem for entrepreneurs that focuses on dramatically growing and scaling high growth-potential businesses. In addition, Altech Radio Holdings has come on board as a sponsor and partner in the challenge.‘We talk often about job creation, but an integral part of that process is empowering potential employers who can contribute to our job creation efforts. It’s one thing to create a job opportunity for an individual, but it is far more beneficial to equip an individual who has a hunger and desire to own their own business with the skills to make that dream a reality and put them in a position to create job opportunities for dozens if not hundreds of others,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little.

The #YouthStartCT challenge is open to residents of Cape Town aged 18 to 35. After the closing date for applications, the Seed Academy will assess the submissions and select the top 100 entries. This group will participate in a 10-week mentoring and training course, after which the group will be whittled down to the top 50, top 10 and then the top three. The overall winner at the end of the competition will receive prizes and support in the implementation of their business idea. The City will also devise a strategy to help further the ideas and plans of each of the top 100 participants.

‘This challenge forms part of our commitment to making progress possible together. This is an example of how government is helping individuals help themselves. We need to move away from the perception that government alone is meant to solve our socio-economic challenges. We need people who will put their hands up and work with us to make the change. So this really is a call to action to those young people who believe that they have an idea that will take off and make a meaningful contribution to our job creation and poverty alleviation efforts. I am very excited about this challenge and have no doubt that we’ll be blown away by the ideas to be presented,’ added Councillor Little.

Those interested in entering the #YouthStartCT Entrepreneurial Challenge will be required to make a short video explaining their innovative idea for creating employment in their community and upload it to a public platform like YouTube. The link to their video must be uploaded as part of the #YouthStartCT application form on the City’s website:http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/youthstartct/Pages/default.aspx

Details are also available on the City’s social media platforms: @CityofCT on Twitter and City of Cape Town on Facebook.Prospective participants can access the internet by using the SmartCape facilities at their nearest library.

Applications close on Friday 15 April 2016.

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