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Youth Entrepreneurship Remains a Critical Driver of Economic Development

2021-06-20 13:25:00

Youth Entrepreneurship Remains a Critical Driver of Economic Development

Thursday, 17 June 2021- Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal an entity of the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) hosted the 2021 Youth Business Indaba.  The Youth Business Indaba to expose youth entrepreneurs to business opportunities and create a platform to network with the executives and specialists from the government and private sector focusing on funding, export, trade, and investment opportunities.

The overarching theme for this year’s event was “How the Youth benefits in the KwaZulu-Natal’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan” offering a comprehensive agenda filled with cutting-edge topics and critical information from the industry’s eminent minds and most influential industry experts. The packed programme featured a high-level of expert-led discussions both from the private and public sector. The event covered thought-provoking topics such as access to finance, pitfalls and success of business, creating stronger economies through youth entrepreneurship, and other essential topics.

The TIKZN Board Chairperson, Ms Ina Cronje in her address to the youth said, “Success doesn’t come from handouts and being reliant on someone else to provide for you.  It comes from dedication, focus and a willingness to learn from everyone who has made it.  Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful… There is a formula for turning your dreams into reality, and it isn't dependent on who you know or proving yourself.  The formula is goals + commitment = dreams come true.”

Lebo Gunguluza a financial technology pioneer and digital strategist shared his knowledge with the youth on the use of social media as a business tool, and not as vanity tool, in advancing youth entrepreneurship and job creation.

“A smartphone is the most powerful tool in the era of fourth industrial revolution. In the African continent there are over 488 million smartphone users whereas in South Africa there is over 26 million users. A smartphone is the essence of digital marketing, it provides entrepreneurs with access to market. A number of international multibillion rand corporations would not be thriving economically if it weren’t for a smartphone device.”

“Drop shipping is an order fulfilment method that does not require a business to keep products in stock. Instead, the store sells the product, and passes on the sales order to a third-party supplier, who then ships the order to the customer. Companies such as Amazon, Alibaba and Uber are some of the tangible examples of the benefits of drop shipping. Operating a business has become borderless and businesses are able to make profits without any physical engagement with the customer.” Said Gunguluza.
Neville Matjie, Chief Executive Officer at Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal outlined the investment and export opportunities available for young people in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. “We encourage young people especially the African youth to leverage on the available sectors such as maritime, oil and gas, manufacturing and others.

We want to see transformation and youth participation in these sectors.”
He further shared an overview of unemployment statistics and challenges facing youth in South Africa. “Across the world, there are currently 1.8 billion young people, of which two thirds of those are underemployed.” Quoting stats from Statistics SA he said, “the official unemployment rate in South Africa at this point is 32,6% this rate was 46,3% of young people between the ages of 15-34, implying that almost one in every two young people in the labour market did not have a job in the first quarter of 2021”.

Amongst the list of other very significant speakers were Ziphelele Ntshangase a co-founder of the Tamboti Bed and Breakfast, Thami Zondi the Director for Youth Economic Empowerment at the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nokukhanya Dlamini a project manager at Partner engagement Harambe Youth Employment Accelerator and Bright Hlongwane, a co-founder and managing director of Isimangaliso Group.

Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal board member, Mr Khanyisani Shandu emphasized the strategic role young people play in actively participating in the economy of the province. “Young people should be at the forefront of innovation, and I am particularly in awe of the prospective impetus this Youth Business Indaba is likely to create. We have sat down and rethought our developmental path and we have realised that technology should be a major focus area in our pace to turn things around and young people are here to drive that vision and to innovate.” Concluded Shandu.

This year National Youth Day and Youth Month was celebrated under the theme: “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society.” The entire country was encouraged to participate in youth month by recognising the present and future role of the youth in shaping the socio-economic landscape of the country.
Contact Person: Ms Angel (Mkhethie) Sibisi
Cell: 076 062 3779 / 0764686139
Share:                      | Date: 2021-06-20 13:25:00
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