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Pieter Strydom
 
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Youth entrepreneurship growing in Cape Town

02 September 2013, 07:04

Young and passionate entrepreneurs are “unreasonable” in their want to change South Africa

According to research done by entrepreneurmag.co.za in 2012, Cape Town is the leading entrepreneurial city in South Africa. Since then, more and more Cape Town based startups have come to the market, creating jobs, leading innovation and providing unique business solutions to the everyday challenges faced by Capetonians.

One such startup that hopes to contribute to this market of innovation is an organisation called Akro, initiated by a group of 9 young entrepreneurs all running fully operational businesses while studying at the University of Cape Town. The 3-month old organisation aims to bring together talented young entrepreneurs from around Cape Town to engage with each other as well as existing South African business leaders, CEO’s and established entrepreneurs.

The organisation moved one step closer to its ambitious vision last week when they hosted their first Akro Young Leaders Summit, a networking and workshop-style event held at the Colosseum Hotel. The hotel opened its doors to young entrepreneurs and entrepreneur-hopefuls as well as some of South Africa’s top businessmen. In attendance was Mzoli Ncgawuzele, Owner of Mzoli’s Place, JP Farinha, CEO Property 24, Vuyisa Qabaka, Western Cape Government Startup Ambassador, Ron Basel, CEO Green Beetle Branding and Gary Palmer, CEO of Paragon Lending Solutions.   

“Entrepreneurship is about creating something from nothing and giving back to your community,” Mzoli Ncgawuzele says, after delivering a presentation to the young entrepreneurs.

“The Akro Organisation believes in the future of South Africa,” Tom Raviv says, one of the nine founders of Akro Organization. “Our intention is to become South Africa’s entrepreneurial engine, fuelling entrepreneurs and businesses by presenting opportunities to learn, network and leverage off each other’s knowledge, resources and enthusiasm. We want to inspire young leaders in the pursuit of their visions with an unparalleled drive and passion.”

“Today we saw our current South African business leaders coming together with the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders,” Sakhile Mkhize says, one the the attendees at the conference.

The event was sponsored by the Singer Hotel Group and Ernst & Young, corporates that believe in the potential of South Africa's entrepreneurial youth. With the support of these partners, Akro will be looking to achieve more going forward and bring together even more top young talent in Cape Town, especially from areas that offer less entrepreneurial support. 

The idea is ambitious but if it proves to be successful, Akro will go a long way to fuel entrepreneurial initiatives and create more jobs not only in Cape Town but across South Africa.

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