Entrepreneurship project unveiled

2017-04-26 06:00

A group of at least 32 young people in the Free State are set to gain much-needed entrepreneurship skills through a training initiative between Eskom and the National Development Company (Nadcom). Stakeholders unveiled the project recently at a function in Bloemfontein.

“The project entails a complete skills development programme, as well as an enterprise development programme. Through the project, young entrepreneurs are afforded an opportunity to participate in various businesses, experiencing business processes and expertise in a mentorship situation. This lays a good foundation for when they will operate independently in the businesses that will be established through this intervention and become their own bosses,” said Adri Strydom, Eskom’s corporate affairs manager for the Free State and Northern Cape.

Strydom said 32 youths will be participating in these businesses for a period ranging from 18 to 36 months through the establishment of eight businesses with youths holding the majority shareholding.

In line with the objective of the youth project, Nadcom, a service provider to Eskom, has appointed five youths as trainees for 2017. Candidates will actively participate in the construction of an office space for the Eskom tender office, which incorporates air-conditioning, lighting and drywall construction.

Strydom said the objective of the enterprise and supplier development process aims at providing youths with an incubator to hone their skills, build character and gain experience in a meaningful way.

Theresa Maasdorp, Eskom’s supplier development manager in the Free State and Northern Cape, said that there will be a big focus from Eskom’s side on enterprise and supplier deve­lopment for this financial year with the goal of creating more sustainable Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs).

Maasdorp pointed out that 50% of the youth in South Africa are unemployed.

“Currently, there aren’t enough jobs, and the only way to address this is through entrepreneurial development,” she said.

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