Over the past 6 months, the UK-South Africa Tech Hub accelerator programme has equipped budding entrepreneurs with a myriad of skills and tools to assist them in navigating the world of entrepreneurship. These young entrepreneurs began their journey at CapaCiTi where they acquired the necessary digital skills matched to industry demand. On completion of their CapaCiTi programmes, the UK-South Africa Tech Hub’s Developer Placement Programme recruited developers into two streams. One, being paid for internships at Tech SMME’s and the other into an accelerator programme. This flagship accelerator initiative provided access to a structured learning experience that was designed to empower and support youth entrepreneurs in either ideating a new business concept or shifting their current businesses to the next growth check point effectively.
Throughout the programme, participants were equipped with strategies and techniques to enhance their entrepreneurial competencies and essential business skills. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset, marketing, financial management, and leadership all form part of the programme. The programme culminated in a virtual pitch event which was held on the 21st of August 2020.
The pitch event was hosted online, where young entrepreneurs were welcomed to the virtual stage by Lara Rosmarin, Head of Entrepreneur Development and Incubation at the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi). “This has been an incredibly exciting process for us all and here we are culminating in this much anticipated pitch event with some amazing entrepreneurs and some unbelievable business ideas. We’re so excited to hear from you all.”
Thank you to Shirley Gilbey the Director of the UK-South Aafrica Tech Hub, who offered the entrepreneurs some warm advice. “Be bold, be brave and back yourselves. You’re amazing. If you take what you have learnt, keep your eyes open for opportunities, and keep looking for ways to apply your new skills and to keep growing and learning, you have the potential to change the world. So be bold, be brave and go out there and do it!”
The determined entrepreneurs presented their ideas in front of a panel of three judges who are experts in their fields. Here are the pitching businesses:
Fundani Digital Innovation Hub
Entrepreneur: Athenkosi Geza
Offering: Fundani offers a user-friendly virtual e-learning platform with optical character recognition technology to ease the workload of teachers and facilitate a better learning experience for learners.
The Remote Hub
Entrepreneur: Mthuthuzeli Dada
Offering: The Remote Hub is a business support centre that provides fast and stable internet services, hot desk space and soft skills to the youth in Gugulethu.
One-Stop Decor Store
Entrepreneur: Abigail Lukoki
Offering: An online retail store offering modern, high-quality furniture and decor items sourced from the local community.
Entrepreneur: Aqhamile Cimani
Offering: Cava Code is a recruitment platform offering programming students the opportunity to engage with SMMEs looking for additional resources and experienced developers looking for assistance. Additionally, recruiters can view talent available before students graduate.
Entrepreneurs: Asanele Qoqoza and Keitumetse Kgonyane
Offering: An online platform connecting students, teachers, tutors, and parents to facilitate the best academic results for learners.
Entrepreneurs: Phiweka Mthini and Dumisani Jack
Offering: Digital Marketing skills to small local businesses.
Entrepreneur: Pumelela Tesana
Offering: An online organic food shop and information portal that makes organic food and information relating to healthy living easily accessible for local communities.
Entrepreneurs: Abulele Mbaleki and Honey Nkohla
Offering: A&HNET provides an internet cafe with fast and affordable internet access to the youth in Samora Machel where they can learn, grow and have fun with technology.
IS Knowledge Bureau
Entrepreneur: Ayabulela Mlungwana
Offering: IS Knowledge Bureau offers training and facilitation to young leaders to help them transform and grow.
Black Rose Entertainment
Entrepreneur: Sabelo Romeo Nenene
Offering: Black Rose Entertainment is a film and music production company that facilitates record deals for artists.
Smbiz’s Incubator emerges victorious
After a fierce pitch battle, Phiweka Mthini and Dumisani Jack of Smbiz’s Incubator were announced as the winners of the pitch-off. The entrepreneurs walked away with a promotional video worth R5000.
To reward the entrepreneurs for all their hard work over the past six months, the CITI and UK-South Africa Tech Hub team announced that the interns get to keep the tablets they’ve been using during the programme so they can continue to develop the businesses they’ve started.