Councillor Eddie Andrews, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area South, hosted a group of 13 young entrepreneurs at an event in Muizenberg recently. The purpose of the event was to create a platform for young business owners to meet and share their experiences and challenges they face in their business operations. Read more below:
The idea was to start with a small group of entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years for a personal and meaningful engagement session and to eventually grow the network of like-minded young people.‘I was pleasantly surprised at the young entrepreneurs’ level of business knowledge and confidence. Of note was their level of maturity when they presented the challenges they face on a daily basis and their experience of doing business with the City,’ said Councillor Andrews.Each entrepreneur was given an opportunity to introduce themselves and explain what their business was about. They presented their products and services with pride and confidence.The young entrepreneurs are keen to do business with the City and mentioned that they find the tender process rather daunting. They added that sourcing more capital for projects and marketing their business is often quite challenging. But help was at hand as a City Enterprise Specialist was also part of the network for the evening and provided guidance on how entrepreneurs can register their business with the City; gave guidelines for doing business with the City; and facilitated product development. The entrepreneurs were also guided about their particular business needs and were informed about the City’s Business Enquiry Service which can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The entrepreneurs found this information most useful.‘The small business sector is a critical component of our economy, playing a vital role in creating much-needed employment and economic opportunities. It is therefore important for us to nurture this sector to uplift our young entrepreneurs to ensure economic inclusion,’ said Councillor Andrews.Councillor Andrews spoke about the current opportunities available for the young entrepreneurs, the importance of registering their businesses on their local subcouncil’s database and having access to the Community Vendor Programme for tenders under R30 000.He also explained the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) which serves as the blueprint for building a more proactive, responsive, and customer-centric organisation to take local government to the next level.
‘One of the ODTP transformational priorities is to ensure economic inclusion by investing in community works programmes that will provide longer term employment opportunities. Industry professionals will be invited to similar sessions in future to share vital information with our young entrepreneurs. The City will facilitate this networking opportunity between the private sector and our young entrepreneurs which will help to encourage small business growth and job stability,’ added Councillor Andrews. A further networking engagement session is planned for later in the year which will include more entrepreneurs to grow the network and continue with the conversation.