Youngsters hone business skills

2018-06-26 06:01

The winners of the City of Cape Town’s #YouthStartCT entrepreneurial challenge were announced at an awards ceremony at the Civic Centre on Wednesday night (20 June).

Mayor Patricia de Lille says: “When the competition started three months ago, we began with more than 100 talented young entrepreneurs who have shown the potential to succeed in the business world with the proper support.

“#YouthStartCT is about providing a platform for the abundance of creative business ideas our young people possess. By growing their businesses and employing more people, young entrepreneurs can also help other young people break free from the shackles of unemployment and hopelessness.”

Over the past month, the 100 finalists were put through their paces by the False Bay College Centre of Entrepreneurship – Rapid Incubator to hone their business development skills, and participants went through various rounds of pitching innovative ideas to determine the overall winner.

Thabiso Eroll Mokomele from Gugulethu, the owner of T-Squared Clothing, came first.

“This home-grown clothing brand carries slogans that encourage people to push past the limitations of poverty. The sign above the door of his garage in Gugulethu, where he handcrafts the garments, says it all: ‘There is no success without hardship’. What started as Thabiso’s hobby back in high school and a way to support his studies 10 years ago has become a rising brand that is making an impact and serves as an inspiration to young people in the country. The business has grown to a point where he employs other young people to work with him. He has also opened a store in Johannesburg,” De Lille says in a statement.

Mokomele has won R10 000 in cash, a laptop and further business training support.

In second place is Nomfundo Mabaso from Burgundy Estate. She owns promotional and marketing material supplier, Grey Pepper.

Khuliso Stanley Muthige from Tokai, founder of Educate, came third.

Educate provides educational services to South African youth and adults who are attending various learning institutions. They offer tutoring and mentorship programmes through a digital online platform. The company takes full advantage of the ever-expanding technological arena. It also creates employment by working with graduates and students who are interested in nurturing fellow students, sourced from its database of screened students across all subjects.

“The top three have shown great development over the last month of the competition. Every week they have applied the new information and skills learned in training and adjusted their ideas and business practice in order to achieve growth,” says De Lille.

“This will serve them very well for the future and what they want to achieve with their businesses, particularly around creating employment in their communities.

“My message to all contestants is that they are all winners by having the courage to step out and pursue their own ideas and make it a reality.

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