Youth now create jobs

2015-11-04 12:38

A CALL on the youth in the Free State to acquire entrepreneurial skills has received an overwhelming response with more than 1 000 youths initially registering for entrepreneurial training assessment.

Residents of Thabong, Kutlwanong and Meloding came out in large numbers at the end of July to participate in the Bizniz In A Box youth empowerment initiative, which has since seen 69 people undergoing an entrepreneurship boot camp to equip them with the necessary skills needed to run micro, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retail businesses.

The first phase of the boot camp started on 28 September and the second and most critical phase of the boot camp was completed on Friday, 30 October, and will now see qualifying youth preparing to apply their skills and knowledge in their businesses, to be announced soon.

During the boot camp, participants operated from the four container spaza shops located in Kutlwanong, Meloding and Thabong. Working in groups, participants gained on-the-job experience in running a retail outlet, managing inventory and cash flow and dealing with customers, among other things.

Assessment is underway and this part of the process will further whittle down the number of youths who will be allocated the 22 fully-stocked and ready-to-operate spaza shops in the region.

Made possible by the franchised bottler of The Coca-Cola Company, ABI Bottling (Pty) Ltd. and supported by the Free State Government, the Bizniz In A Box youth empowerment initiative aims to address the high unemployment rate among South Africa’s youth.

This initiative will not only be providing the youth with skills, but will also be creating actual business opportunities in the form of spaza shops, where they can immediately apply their newly-acquired skills.

“This initiative resonates well with the government’s programme aimed at addressing the high unemployment of young people in the Free State.

In this way, we will be creating a generation of job creators, rather than job seekers,” said Sam Mashinini, MEC for the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

Gaopaleloe Mothoagae, sustainable development manager at ABI, said the boot camp process provided the selected youth with rigorous training modules and practical learning to give them a realistic impression of running a retail business.

“During this phase, modules such as Grow-My-Business, Behaviour Wrap and product training formed part of the curriculum.

The ultimate result aimed for by this initiative is for the successful candidates to become entrepreneurs,” Mothoagae said.

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