The City of Cape Town’s #YouthStartCT Entrepreneurship Challenge is heating up as the final 26 participants put their best foot forward for top honours.
The top 26 young entrepreneurs were announced yesterday afternoon, 16 May 2016, from an original group of 100 who have been undergoing skills and business development training facilitated by the SEED Academy. The Academy and sponsor, Altech, are partnering with the City in the initiative.#YouthStartCT is one of the Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department’s initiatives under the banner of its Youth Development Programme. It is designed to help young would-be entrepreneurs launch their businesses and careers, but also make a contribution to job creation. Applicants were encouraged to pitch any business idea, but the key criterion was that the business plan should also stimulate job creation.
The top 26 are: Iamstein, Hoodlab Venture, Rea Nubia, Just Earn, GD Industries, Straightkasi, Bafundi Foods, The Bug, Vouch Scout, Hoorus, Be Safe Security Solutions, Job4me, FBK, Sporting Code, Zimele, Grassroots SA, Ntombentle Beauty House, Be a Star, Berenjens, Nceskido Cleaning Solutions, First Aid Solutions, Jobs4Us, The pursuit of Professions, 3D4Youth, Coppermein and Arts Alternative. Initially there were going to be 25 top spots, but there are 26 after two contestants tied in their scores.
The business ideas cover a wide range of areas including the fields of education, sport, art, food, goods and services and connecting job seekers with employment opportunities.
Adjudication to trim down the list of finalists entailed a five-minute pitch where the entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to share their idea with a team of experts. The businesses were evaluated on various criteria, with the ability of the idea to contribute to job creation in Cape Town being a major factor.
While the entire group of 100 entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to complete the remaining training sessions, the top 26 will have to prepare to pitch for a place in the top 10, followed by adjudication for a top-three spot.
‘This process has been nothing short of inspirational and has certainly reminded me of the potential that exists in our communities and in our young people. I hope that they serve to encourage others around them, acting as an example of what can be achieved if you have a dream and the willingness to work hard.
‘It has also proved to me that we are on the right track with our initiatives like the YouthStartCT Challenge and the series of career expos which we recently concluded. There are young people out there who want to be more and do more and it is incumbent on us to do as much as possible to give them opportunities to thrive,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little.