Awethu Project fights unemployment

HELPING HANDS: Awethu Project is looking for an entrepreneur to work with and assist in growing his or her business idea.
HELPING HANDS: Awethu Project is looking for an entrepreneur to work with and assist in growing his or her business idea.

The hope is that perhaps the time has, at last, arrived to fully embrace entrepreneurship in South Africa as a means of encouraging import-substitution commerce and industry.

Apart from the DA’s employment campaign, the Awethu Project which is based in Braamfontein, is also engaging in ambitious efforts to grow entrepreneurship in South Africa.

The company recently launched a new initiative calling on South Africa’s young entrepreneurs – who either have a business idea or an established and innovative business concept – to apply and participate in a five-month business incubator programme.

The programme aims to help grow business ideas by offering successful entrepreneurs access to business skills training, funding and business coaching through its incubator.

“The incubator model stems from Awethu’s firm belief that the black South African youth is as entrepreneurial as the youth of any country, if not more so. But the constraints of a largely informal economy make it near-impossible for survivalist entrepreneurs to differentiate themselves,” said Yusuf Randera-Rees, co-founder and CEO of Awethu Project.

Randera-Rees believes that Awethu Project’s concept has the capability to make a real dent in South Africa’s unemployment rate of 26.4 percent (according to Statistics SA) rising to 42 percent among those under the age of 30.

At the start of the programme, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to receive funding of up to R5 000, while the top 10 percent of graduates will receive a percentage of a seed capital equity investment of R250 000 to grow their business.

Practical training is the main focus, which facilitates the creation of jobs through entrepreneurship.

A key factor in the success of the programme is its robust selection process but, despite this, creating jobs via an incubator is a costly process and, therefore, Awethu intends to focus primarily on business ideas which have the potential to become sustainable operations capable of employing more than 30 people.

The primary purpose of the course is to incubate entrepreneurs rather than their businesses – with the entrepreneur himself upskilled to be able to grow their own business, formalise and position it within the marketplace and build it into a valuable asset.

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to contact Awethu Project and apply for this fantastic opportunity to become a business owner.


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