Young entrepreneurs geared to fly higher as they get wings

2017-05-18 06:00
Ntlahla Nkukwana (23): TownNtlahla’s project, I am selfmade, is an online platform that aims to improve financial literacy by teaching financial management and investment skills.

Ntlahla Nkukwana (23): TownNtlahla’s project, I am selfmade, is an online platform that aims to improve financial literacy by teaching financial management and investment skills.

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This year’s edition of the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy commenced this week.

The Amaphiko Academy, established in 2014, grew out of Red Bull’s ongoing mission to identify and develop talented people and to help them achieve their full potential. In the past, Red Bull had focused on athletes, musicians and dancers. As a natural extension of this mission, Amaphiko was launched to “give wings” specifically to grassroots social entrepreneurs who are making a positive difference in their communities, and to inspire a broad audience to do the same.

Red Bull Amaphiko’s program was designed to provide social entrepreneurs with the inspiration, mentorship, practical skills and tools they need to take themselves and their businesses to the next level. It includes development programs such as lectures and workshops, digital know-how and resources. It also connects its participants to a supportive world-wide community of like-minded individuals willing to contribute their skills, resources and time. In just three years, the Amaphiko Academy has become a global program, spreading its wings into Brazil and the USA.

This year, 16 of South Africa’s brightest social entrepreneurs will come together in Mamelodi, Pretoria, for a 10-day residential programme of mentorship, inspiration and practical skills training. Participants will have the opportunity to connect and collaborate with mentors who include leading local and international innovators, entrepreneurs and storytellers. Afterwards, they will continue working over the next 18 months with their mentors one-on-one, to further develop business and personal strategies for the plans that they will bring to life.

Thabang Mabapa is a past Amaphiko Academy participant, whose business, Selokong Sa Dimelana (SSD), focuses on the farming and processing of castor oil for biofuel production. He had this to say of his Red Bull Amaphiko experience:

“The support and mentorship that I received at the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy

helped me to realise the potential of my business, and to understand how it could become sustainable. Amaphiko helped me lay a solid foundation and transform SSD into a social enterprise that makes an impact while driving profits.”

Red Bull believes that the social challenges of a country like South Africa are most effectively addressed when ordinary people use their creativity and energy to find innovative solutions to problems in their own communities. Red Bull Amaphiko aims to support people who do just that, helping to empower individuals creating social change, and to celebrate their achievements with a wider audience, with the hope of inspiring everyone to make a difference in their own way.

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