Akro Organisation, a UCT student-founded non-profit organisation, held its annual Leadership Summit on Saturday 24th, at the Colosseum Luxury Hotel in Cape Town.
Founded in June 2013, Akro has only been on the scene for 3 months. Yet, the organisation is already in the spotlight and has attracted a horde of followers including much interest from big corporates and their CEO’S.
“Akro”, originating from the ancient Greek translation, Extreme, was co-founded by 9 UCT students with the common goal to inspire youth entrepreneurship by building powerful business networks.
James Keiser, a founding member of Akro and Head Analyst at Akro’s new hedge fund, explained the difference between Akro and other similar organisations:
“What really sets these guys apart is that they have so much passion! They want so badly [to] do business, create jobs and help the economy, and it’s so great to have an entire network of students building businesses together.
The Leadership Summit saw many distinguished speakers of every industry relay their thoughts and words of encouragement to the team of enthusiastic young entrepreneurs.
Ron Basel, CEO of Green Beetle Branding and GBB Coaching and Summit speaker, described the event as “amazing”.
“Someone spits out an idea, and fifteen minutes later it’s a fully-fledged business model that anyone can take to market.”
At the Summit, Akro members were able to hear JP Farinha; CEO of Property24 and Director at Naspers and Vuyisa Qabaka, Founder Trustee at Name Your Hood Foundation, speak on entrepreneurship and investing. As well as be part of a marketing workshop run by Ron Basel and a quickfire ‘think tank’.
Akro is proud to be associated with only the top young entrepreneurs in the country. Thus, only invited candidates between the ages of 18 and 28 can apply to become a member. From there, founding members vote on applicants. If accepted, a mandatory and annual Dedicate Contribution fee is required to ensure ones dedication to the organisation.
Ultimately, Akro aims to address some of the most fundamental and central issues faced by South Africans including the static state of entrepreneurial initiative and youth unemployment.
Akro wishes to find and bring together the brightest of entrepreneurial minds through the collective goal of being the fabric of change, the forefront of business brilliance and the solution to the biggest problems in the world.
Commenting on the Leadership Summit, Jason Basel, founding member and president of Akro Organisation, stated that the event was “the most valuable event of the year for young entrepreneurs starting out”.
“Akro members are the best of the best when it comes to youth entrepreneurship, and they want to impart everything they know other ambitious youngsters,” Basal explained.
“Our goal is to be the fabric of change in the world, to build relationships in business that will act to the benefit of our members going forward.”
Akro extended its appreciation to the Singer Hotel Group and Ernst & Young for all their support:
“It’s been a blessing to have our sponsors on board. They’ve taken us to the next level, and we look forward to a prosperous relationship with them in the years to come.
Commenting on “what’s next”, Basel explained that he is only laying the foundation for the future.
“There’s a lot more to come from us in the coming years, we’re just starting out. We’ve got passion in South Africa, and we’ve got plenty of talent.”
Basel continued: “To make it, all we need is action. That’s the difference. These guys [The Akro members] take an idea to market with speed, and that’s why they’ve been successful.”
“We haven’t accomplished anything until unemployment halves, not until South Africans are free of financial strain and our businesses compete on a global scale. The talent has been here for decades, but no one has used it properly.”
With a mindset like this, Akro is heading for great heights. With only 40 seats available at the Leadership Summit and over 700 applications received, it seems that everyone wants to be associated with Akro.
But not only that, with the sponsorship of many great corporates and the support of such distinguished speakers, the Leadership Summit was a huge success.
“It’s a learning process. Universities can teach you only so much – the real education comes from doing it yourself, and that’s what we want every student doing”, concluded Basel.
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