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Created by the City of Cape Town, the #YouthStart Challenge aims to provide young Capetonian entrepreneurs with an opportunity to either grow their business or get it off the ground. The challenge was announced on the DA’s website.
This year’s #YouthStart Challenge will also feature a digital solutions category for entrepreneurs and SMEs operating in the space.
“Unemployment, poverty and inequality are some of the biggest challenges in South Africa and young people, in particular, are bearing the brunt,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services, Alderman JP Smith.
“Entrepreneurship has been identified as one of the ways to tackle it. So, in the spirit of making Cape Town an opportunity city for all, we’re providing an opportunity to access resources and skills that will help young people to develop their business ideas and provide services and products to consumers, while at the same time growing the economy and aiding job creation efforts.”
The #YouthStart Challenge will aim to empower young entrepreneurs to create or expand their businesses
The #YouthStart Challenge came about from research pertaining to challenges that young entrepreneurs face, namely, access to capital as well as equipment, tools, and space. Other issues facing young entrepreneurs also include lack of experience, and confidence, as well as a lack of mentorship and contacts.
The programme supports entrepreneurs in commercialising, expanding as well as monetizing their businesses through their training and mentorship programme.
“A successful business needs more than just a capital injection. Development through training and mentoring is crucial for anyone starting out. Having access to those who have gone before and using their experience as a sounding board or cautionary tale is priceless,” said Smith.
The top 100 entries would be offered 10-weeks after-hours training, after that, 20 finalists will be selected to go on to the next stage. Furthermore, 10 startups will then go on to participate in a demo day with the top three startups being announced in June 2017 at a gala event.
The programme is open to Cape Town residents who are SA citizens and between the ages of 18 and 35. In order to be eligible, candidates are required to have a startup idea that is already creating sustainable jobs, or has the ability to.
Entrepreneurs wanting to enter would be required to complete an online form and upload a video of their pitch proposal.