Youth learn to become successful entrepreneurs

2015-11-04 12:38

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

Youth residents of Thabong, Kutlwanong and Meloding came out in large numbers at the end of July for the youth empowerment initiative, which has since seen 69 qualifying youths undergoing an entrepreneurship boot camp to equip them with the necessary skills needed to run micro, fast-moving consumer goods retail businesses.

The first phase of the entrepreneurship boot camp started on 28 September and the second and most critical phase of the boot camp was completed on Friday, 30 October.

Qualifying youth is now prepared to apply their skills and knowledge in their businesses.

During the boot camp, participating youth operated from the four container spaza shops located in Kutlwanong, Meloding and Thabong. Working in groups, participants had an opportunity to gain 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 provide the youth with skills, but will also create 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 of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

“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,” said Gaopaleloe Mothoagae, sustainable development manager at ABI.

“During this phase, modules such as grow-my-business, behaviour wrap and product training, formed part of the curriculum.”

The ultimate result from this initiative is for the successful candidates to become entrepreneurs.

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