In November 2019, Citi Foundation and TechnoServe launched the Youth Ideas Development Technology (YID-Tech) Program, a 12-month entrepreneurship development initiative.
The program attracted over 250 candidates between the ages of 18–35 in Gauteng with the aim of selecting the best 60 who will go through a certified electronics training. Successful candidates in the program will go on to receive grant funding whilst runner-ups would be placed in relevant technology companies for experiential learning purposes.
The YID-Tech program is financially supported by Citi Bank through the Citi Foundation and implemented by TechnoServe. This is an ongoing partnership that aims to grow entrepreneurship and upskill the youth so that they may play a meaningful role in the economy of the country.
The program also collaborated with government bodies (NYDA, Innovation Hub and SEDA), multiple local businesses, placement agencies and sector-specific organisations to recruit candidates and deliver an impactful program.
After completing an intense 8-week online training linked to the Further Education and Training Certificate in Electronics, the candidates will finish off with entrepreneurship training as well as business pitch training.
This will be followed by a pitching competition, where the candidates will present their business ideas to a panel of judges. Thirty promising candidates will be shortlisted, 15 of which will receive grant funding to start their businesses and the other 15 will have experiential learning placements secured in electronics companies.
The funded finalists will receive five months worth of mentoring by a sector-expert as well as market-linkage opportunities whilst in the process of commercialising their product or service in order to earn an income. The experiential learning candidates will receive a monthly travel stipend whilst placed in electronics companies for a period of five months. Mentoring and coaching Inputs from both Citi Foundation & TechnoServe will continue even beyond the lifetime of the program.