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‘Step Up 2 A Startup’ Programme Combating Youth Unemployment

By Cue Sibiya

Instilling a culture and mind-set of entrepreneurship and wealth creation in the youth is crucial to the future development of South Africa’s economy, but too little is being done to nurture entrepreneurship from a young age.

Primestars Marketing, through its Step up 2 a Start-up IV programme, recently launched with special addresses by Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development, David Makhura, Premier of Gauteng, and an eye-opening address by international businessman and author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, is providing solutions for thousands of young South Africans who face a future without work.

“Sustainable economic development is only possible through small business development and new venture creation, and not enough young people are entering the entrepreneurial space which will be the lifeblood of job creation moving forward”, said Mr Martin Sweet from Primestars Marketing.

The launch event was attended by over 300 guests, including government officials, media and the programmes sponsors Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest bank by assets who will be placing its full support behind this important drive as key sponsor.

“We live in exciting times. The world is changing rapidly, with technology leading this change. But for some the pace is too fast, too much and they risk being left behind. For others, the brave and innovative, the pace provides an endless wave upon which to ride, a plethora of new ventures and business opportunities to explore, with no boundaries. While all of this is going on around the world, South Africa runs the risk of being left behind,” said Mr Sweet.

“For our youth to realise their potential, they need to be exposed to the endless possibilities available to them as entrepreneurs and we need to provide them with the necessary skills and tools to succeed.”

In its fourth year now, the programme for 2017, under the theme of Seeking Opportunity, Connecting People and Creating Sustainable Value, will focus on social entrepreneurship, and Primedia Marketing is calling on young people from all across South Africa to look at our ever-changing world, identify the challenges around them and find innovative solutions to our most pressing social and environmental problems.

“Just as entrepreneurs change the face of business, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss to improve systems, invent new approaches and create solutions to change society for the better”.

Beginning 12 August 2017, learners in grades 9 – 11 will begin their journey into the world of entrepreneurship through the movie titled “Vukuzenzele”, which will be screened at 15 Ster-Kinekor cinemas nationwide over a period of five weeks. As part of the programme, each learner will receive a toolkit which will assist them in implementing the skills learnt and to develop their own business ideas and models. Learners will be given the opportunity to compete in an entrepreneurial competition by submitting their business model canvasses for assessment and adjudication by a panel of industry professionals and sponsors.

During this process, at least 9 top business models will be identified and the teams responsible will be invited to attend a boot camp in Johannesburg. This boot camp will hone and polish participants’ skills as they start to think more about developing and starting their businesses based on the ideas they submitted, and will culminate in a prestigious gala dinner and awards ceremony where the winners will be announced.

“I have no doubt that this new initiative to nurture and grow young entrepreneurs will produce real results in a short space of time. It is imperative we instil the right mind-set for growth and provide essential support to develop ideas that will grow into highly successful businesses of the future. At Standard Bank we are committed to youth entrepreneurship and enabling the youth to achieve their next big dream” said Jayshree Naidoo, Head of the Standard Bank Incubator.

“The sky is the limit for the youth of tomorrow if they get the support needed to take that first crucial step on their journeys to success. After all, the greatest businesses start with a simple idea. We hope to provide the foundation that will assist the entrepreneurs of tomorrow to reach for the stars,” concludes Mr Sweet.