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Free workshops for 900 young entrepreneurs

Jul 12 2017 13:49

Cape Town - The 2017 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs once again provides the opportunity for people between 18 and 35 years of age to try their hand at entrepreneurship.

The closing date for the first phase of the competition is 17:00 on Monday July 31 2017.

Over the past seven years the programme has successfully spring-boarded hundreds of young entrepreneurs.

Free business training will be provided for the selected candidates and the eight regional winners and one overall winner will receive cash prizes and vouchers for mentorship sessions from leading business experts.

According to Christo Botes, executive director of BUSINESS/PARTNERS, IT is now more crucial than ever before to equip Sa’s youth with the necessary skills and knowledge to start and run their own micro or small business.

“Increased unemployment among the youth is extremely worrying, as the prospect of finding employment tends to deteriorate as the period spent unemployed extends. We, therefore, want to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to take the plunge at creating their own employment, but in order to do this, the necessary resources and required support need to be made readily available,” said Botes.

Three phases

The competition comprises three phases. The first is a full-day workshop, which equips all candidates with the necessary knowledge to compile a business plan. All the essential elements of starting a business will be discussed, including financial management, marketing, legal considerations and employment issues.

During the second phase, participants are required to draft and submit their business plans, which a panel of judges will evaluate. Eight regional winners will then be selected and each will be awarded mentorship sessions worth R6 000, which will assist them to develop their business plans further and get their businesses started.

The third and final phase of the competition culminates during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2017, where one of the regional winners will be named the overall, national winner. The national prize includes R25 000 in cash, a mentorship voucher worth R12 000 and a smart tablet or similar.

Botes explains even participants who don’t win, will receive support to aid their entrepreneurial journey.

“The workshops provide an extensive overview of what starting a business really entails, which allows those who may be doubtful to gain clarity on whether or not this is the right path for them to take,” says Botes.

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