The following is an extract of a speech delivered by the Executive Mayor to the #YouthStartCT Top 100 finalists at the Banqueting Hall in the Civic Centre on Thursday, 4 May 2017.
Good evening, goeie naand, molweni, as-salaamu alaikum, shalom.
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.
These range from youth at risk programmes, learnerships and apprenticeships to internships. In our proposed 2017/’18 budget we have set aside funds within our Corporate Services Directorate to the value of R5,5 million for external bursaries; R6,7 million for learnerships; and R9,9 million for apprenticeships.Our approach to youth development is multifaceted, taking into account the many challenges facing the youth. These include projects focusing on:
• Providing life skills to young people
• Providing work and employment readiness skills to young people
• Building the capacity and of youth formations
• Raising awareness on topical issues that affect the youth
#YouthStart is an additional programme that we have put in place to help stimulate entrepreneurship among young people.
We know that the youth want opportunities to prove themselves and help uplift themselves, their families, and their communities. They do not want handouts.
So we found a way to give their creative business ideas a platform. We also wanted to help them to help other young people ridding themselves from the shackles of unemployment and hopelessness.
This entrepreneurial challenge was officially launched on Monday, 6 March 2017.
Young people from between the ages of 18 and 35 years were encouraged to submit their existing businesses which currently create employment opportunities for youth, or a business idea which plans to include employment opportunities for young people.
The competition is an accelerator programme for start-up entrepreneurs and the overarching aim is to contribute to skills development, innovation, and the development of entrepreneurship in the City of Cape Town.
This is not something that we, as government, can do alone.
We are grateful to our partners from the private sector and institutions that are assisting us to change the odds and transform the lives of young people in Cape Town.
The top-100 finalists who are here with us today will all receive business and entrepreneurial training. ABSA is offering access to their ‘Ready to Work’ programme to all Top 100 Youth. They are also providing Business Development Support training over five days for the 100 finalists.
The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) has offered support to all of the youths that have entered the competition and made it through to the top-100. Appointments will be set up to meet with them.
Seda will provide customised non-financial services in line with the Seda’s mandate to the selected youth entrepreneurs on the following, among others:
• Business diagnosis analysis
• Management system implementation
• Joint venture and business-to-business facilitation
• Facilitate registration of new business entities
• Cooperative facilitation
• Drafting business plans
• Facilitate access to finance mentorship
• Export Development and Promotion Programmes
ABSA will include the top-10 in their financial literacy programme and they will also donate computer notebooks to the 10 finalists.
To the top-3 winners, ABSA is offering bespoke entrepreneurship training and seed capital to the value of approximately R65 000 to kick-start their business idea. The top-3 winners of the competition will be given targeted business support from Seda and Seda will pay 90% of what the business advisors and the entrepreneurs agree 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.
For the Top 5 businesses, False Bay College will provide the following:
• Structured GrowthWheel Assessment by certified GrowthWheel advisors
• Innovative and practical learning programme to accelerate the growth of their businesses
• Access to physical incubation which includes the usage of machinery and equipment and technical support for wood and engineering businesses
• Access to their Innovation Hub which includes boardroom facilities, internet and workspace/office desk space
• Allocation of a seasoned and experienced mentor for six months
• Assistance to market linkages based on the product or service development
• The value of this prize is estimated at R50 000 per beneficiary amounting to a total of R250 000
We are extremely proud of these partners for stepping up to the plate and assisting the youth through this corporate social investment. And we call it an investment because when we give to the youth it is society at large that benefits. It is the key to unlocking the potential within them, allowing them to become citizens who can contribute to the greater good.
To all our very special guests – the Top 100 finalists – I want to say congratulations.
You had the courage of your convictions to speak out about your ideas, and now you will all be reaping the rewards.
A lot of hard work lies ahead of you, but we believe in you and we know that you have what it takes to make a success of this opportunity. It is not only the future which lies in your hands, it is the present which lies in your hands as well.
A big break is for the taking, and all you have to do is step up and make it count.
I want to wish you all the best for the next month of intensive training, and I am looking forward to seeing the Top 10 and the Top 3 at the awards ceremony on 15 June 2017.
I thank you. God bless.