Entrepreneurs can strike gold

Emerging entrepreneurs in the Free State stand a quality chance to unlock their potential via participation in an empowerment initiative called the Tabalaza Pitching Programme.

Participants stand to profit financially by pitching viable business ideas.

This initiative is the brain child of the Free State’s Department of Economic Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. The department has partnered with the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State; the National Youth Development Agency (Nyda); First National Bank (FNB) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda).

The chief objective is to help budding entrepreneurs to get their start-ups off the ground and unlock their potential to attain sustainability.

A series of pitching programmes are underway in the five regions of the province.This is for small, medium and micro enterprises.

A panel consisting of investors evaluate business ideas pitched by participating entrepreneurs. The panel then decides on viable business ideas qualifying for the support of the potential investors and relevant stakeholders.

Those found to be meeting the criteria will receive a financial injection to invest in their businesses: R250 000 (first prize), R150 000 (second prize) and R100 000 (third prize).

“The programme is an incentive scheme established to identify youth who have viable business ideas, qualifying and deserving support of the potential investors and relevant stakeholders. Not only does this programme stimulate entrepreneurship within the Free State, but it will also attract investors from all corners of South African, as well as international investors,” said Kgotso Tau, departmental spokesperson.

Tau said ten finalists chosen from the five districts would meet at the main pitching programme in February 2019 to compete for the main prize. He said entrepreneurs received intensive training to improve their pitching ability.

A combined pitching programme for the Mangaung and Xhariep District takes place at the President Hotel in Bloemfontein on Thursday (13/09). Approximately 12 entrepreneurs are expected to pitch business ideas.

The winners of the opening leg of the pitching programme in Fezile Dabi are Ramtsilo Brick Manufacture (first prize), Ahang Amalmagnate Construction (second prize) and Mcofana (third prize). The Thabo Mofutsanyana District pitching programme is set for Wednesday (19/09), with Lejweleputswa receiving a turn on 26 September.

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