Last Friday, 30 September 2022, more than 25 young entrepreneurs from Khayelitsha and surrounding communities graduated from the Youth In Business programme, which was funded by Absa and the City of Cape Town and hosted by the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative, at the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn.
After 10 days of intense business facilitation and moderations, the young entrepreneurs were awarded their certificates in a ceremony attended by Alderman James Vos, Mayco member of Economic Opportunities for the City of Cape Town, as well as 18GM Founder, Wandisile Nqeketho. The incubation programme also provided the business owners with an opportunity to pitch their businesses in front of a panel of judges.
The winner, Sweet HoneyComb walked away with R3 000. In second place, female-led construction startup, Mcotshwa Holdings walked away with R2 000. In third place, EdTech startup, Good Grades won R1 000. Additionally, the judges awarded female-owned security company, Kula Safety and Security the fourth spot. The winners also received a chance to be mentored by several renowned business executives, including Nontokozo Nyoni the Managing Director and Business Mentor at Inkanyezi Marketing, Communications and Promotions, as well as KK Diaz who is a Business and Marketing Strategist + CEO at A-Game Business.
“One of Absa’s top priorities is to bring possibilities to life and form meaningful partnerships that allow us to drive and support the growth of young entrepreneurs. Through our collaboration with CiTi, we will be able to continue to play a leading role in providing young people with the knowledge, training and tools they need to succeed as entrepreneurs and accelerate economic growth,” said Michelle Anderson, Head: Information and Technology Office Strategy and Group Partnerships at Absa.
Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn’s Programme Coordinator, Lungiswa Khethelo said the programme assisted in the formalisation of most of the young entrepreneurs’ businesses. “The Youth In Business programme is awesome, especially in the context of supporting township entrepreneurs. Most of the youth have wonderful business ideas, but they are not formalised or registered. The programme provides entrepreneurs with access to facilitators and mentors. It’s very beneficial for them to receive assistance with building their businesses,” she said.
First place winner of the pitch competition, Sweet HoneyComb’s CEO, Chuma Nxazonke said the opportunity to expand her business from Khayelitsha to neighbouring communities has inspired her. “I was doubting myself. I was also excited because I want my business to grow. I was looking forward to the pitch and was pleasantly surprised to win. We won money, but I am more pleased with the mentorship,” said Nxazonke.
Good Grades founder and CEO, Makabongwe Metuso said the programme was beneficial to his company. “As an entrepreneur, I found this programme very rewarding and valuable. The training and workshops were helpful in refining our business model. It was an honour to be able to attend such a prestigious event as the SA Innovation Summit. I would not have been able to attend if I was not a part of the Youth In Business programme. Also, coming in third place surprised me because the competition was extremely tough. I am honoured that the judges felt my business was deserving of third place. I hope to continue working with the Barn in the future,” said Metuso.
“As a purpose-led bank, we are inspired by the potential of young people in Africa. We help to create, grow, and protect wealth, and partnerships like the one we have with CiTi are consistent with our efforts to be an active force for good in the communities we serve. These partnerships allow us to contribute meaningfully to sustainable economic growth that will benefit current and future generations. We understand that we have a crucial role to play, so our goal is to continue empowering young entrepreneurs,” says Wilhelm Krige, Interim Group Chief Information and Technology Officer at Absa.
General Manager at the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn, Fezeka Mavuso said the programme gives the youth an alternative to employment, staying at home and crime.
“It gives them the opportunity to improve themselves, their families and communities. The programme motivates them to create jobs and validate their businesses. Those who operate informally are given the tech tools and the help they need to formalise and grow their businesses,” she said.