Building budding entrepreneurs for a brighter future

2019-01-15 06:00

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) Solution Space Philippi, is recruiting 35 young leaders from the surrounding communities for a pilot programme aimed at creating a brighter future for the area.

This is a newly launched programme aimed at empowering and promoting entrepreneurship within the area of business-driven youth.

The launch reportedly followed a dialogue run by the two organisations with young people in Philippi. The dialogue included a workshop addressing social issues and concerns facing the community, which led to a follow-up interactive workshop in October from which participating youth were chosen.

It will be run from Philippi Village, a development zone serving the surrounding areas of Nyanga, Gugulethu, Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha. The programme will run over six months with a new intake planned biannually.According to a statement this initiative is in response to a highest ever youth unemployment rate in the country. It is stated that Statistics South Africa revealed that youth unemployment is at 38.2%, “but within the 15-24 age group, that number jumps to a terrifying 52.4%”.

Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, an interim director of the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the UCT GSB, says the Philippi Youth Changemakers (PYC) programme will be anchored in the UCT GSB Solution Space Philippi in Philippi Village.

She says it aims to develop relevant solutions to the challenges faced by the community, by working directly with young people in the area who are grappling daily with such challenges. “We want to create a programme that will make an impact in the surrounding communities by developing the youth to be leaders within their community. The programme will look at supporting young leaders in multiple ways to motivate, encourage and provide them with opportunities and basic skills,” says Makalima-Ngewanashe.

Ndileka Zantsi, UCT GSB Solution Space Philippi programme coordinator, adds that building bridges between the community and the Solution Space is important to ensure that the community has input into what the space offers so that it is in fact addressing their needs, issues and concerns.

“We hope the PYC will assist in this regard. The Solution Space hopes to play a meaningful role in uplifting young individuals to become ambassadors of Philippi Village and to promote its offering to the community,” she says.

Nwabisa Rasmeni, a participant, says the programme is changing their lives for the better by providing new opportunities.

She says the follow-up session was informative and encouraging.

“I learnt what leadership is all about, and how I can become a leader within my community.”

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