From January 2020, business-savvy youth from Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Mfuleni and surrounding areas in the Western Cape will have the opportunity to engage in an in-depth, hands-on learning experience of the tech tools available to aid in the growth and development of their businesses.
Run by the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi), the free 10-week Youth in Business programme will equip young people with the skills necessary for their companies to become economically sustainable.
Training will be hosted at the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn, situated in Lookout Hill and will see three cohorts, each comprised of 35 youth-owned businesses, being introduced to an extensive, tailored range of powerful online and digital programmes and platforms to support their business activities.
Areas covered will include admin, finance, accounting, tax, e-commerce, graphic design, document management, digital marketing, social media, HR, project management, legal advice, payments, banking and more.
Young entrepreneurs will also take part in an online programme that will run for 10 months to help them improve their entrepreneurial skills and build their businesses. Plus, they will be exposed to networking opportunities with other businesses, industry experts and coaches to assist them in growing their businesses as well as attend other ecosystem events and networking opportunities. Additionally, they will have access to the co-working space and lab at Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn.
Fezeka Mavuso, manager of the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn, says “The modules will be taught by knowledgeable facilitators with years of experience who themselves have implemented these tools in their businesses. As a result, these young entrepreneurs will benefit from a network of highly skilled facilitators and mentors with real experience.
The programme will help them to become successful entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform to implement efficient systems and processes through the effective usage of tech products and services that enable growth, sustainability and room to scale. Growth in their businesses holds the possibility of not only assisting in their revenue generation capacity but also in enabling the creation of job opportunities for others in their communities.”
How to get involved
To qualify for a spot in the Youth in Business programme, applicants must meet the following criteria:
Entrepreneurs must be aged between 18 and 35;
Businesses must be 100% black youth-owned;
Businesses must be operational (i.e. not in the ideation phase);
Entrepreneurs must reside in the following locations: Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Mfuleni, Philippi, Langa, Delft, Eerste River, Macasssar and surrounding areas;
Entrepreneurs must have a desire to learn and introduce technology into their business; and
Business owners must commit to the full programme comprised of one two-hour weekly training session at the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn over 10 weeks, followed by a 10-month online course.
Those who are eligible must submit their applications on the CiTi website, www.citi.org.za and follow the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn Facebook page for news and updates.
Once the application is received, potential participants will be invited to a telephonic and/or in-person interview, which will determine whether they will be selected to take part in the programme. The programme is fully funded by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, so there is no cost to participate.