Entrepreneurship accelerator seeks to tackle youth unemployment in SA

Following the launch of its pilot last year to tackle unemployment, South African accelerator New Ventures Studio is calling for new applications.

Aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 and 35, the programme consists of an intensive eight-week entrepreneurship course. Participants will have the opportunity to secure a spot in the Studio Incubator said to be worth R150 000.

In 2015, 19 participants ended up graduating from the programme while four will be selected to join the incubator.

“It has been a productive and effective amount of learning, being a team player, allowing other candidates help structure my business,” says 23-year-old Marshall Khunou, who’s behind Online Radio.

In partnership with Salesian Life Choices and Caban Investment Limited, the Cape Town-based programme aims to assist 80 aspiring young entrepreneurs, annually, by helping people build operational and investor-ready businesses.

New Ventures Studio will acquire a 20% stake in all companies that make it to the incubation phase.

“Our model focuses on selecting the right candidates,” says Sofia Neves, Salesian Life Choices MD. “We only work with young people who already display entrepreneurial qualities and we accelerate them to become successful entrepreneurs.”

Skill-building and job-placement initiatives are becoming increasingly popular in South Africa, as it faces increasing levels of youth unemployment. Specifically focusing on the tech sector, programmes like CodeX and CapaCiTi are not only providing people with valuable skills but also placement opportunities.

Read more: Internfit hopes to address SA’s issue of youth unemployment

“We are excited about the positive impact this initiative will have on the youth, South Africa’s economy and the NPO sector. We are certain that this partnership will be able to create a platform where young South Africans can thrive,” says Mr Romero.

Applications close 18 January. To apply, go to the New Ventures Studio website here.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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