Vodacom, Innovator Trust launch SA Youth Entrepreneurship Programme


South African operator Vodacom and black-owned SME support organisation Innovator Trust have partnered to launch the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (YEP), designed to equip unemployed young people with the skills to become entrepreneurs.

Vodacom and Innovator Trust are initially offering 10 Gauteng-based that have graduated from the Vodacom Academy Programme a spot in the programme, who will receive business training over a period of six months.

Takalani Netshitenzhe, chief officer of corporate affairs at Vodacom, said the programme wanted  to create job opportunities and drive innovation that can bring significant changes to the local economy.

“South Africa’s youth unemployment statistics are shooting through the roof. As a company with strong local roots and in partnership with Innovator Trust, YEP is part of our response to bolster our government’s efforts to curb the rising unemployment rate among young people in South Africa, given that entrepreneurship plays an influential role in driving economic growth and employment creation,” said Netshitenzhe.

The programme will include courses such as Pitching and Presentation Skills, Business Development, Marketing, Creating a Business Plan, Due Diligence and Compliance.

“While there is no doubt that entrepreneurs, especially in the ICT industry, are highly skilled individuals, who understand their product or service, they often lack business fundamentals that are needed to grow an existing SMME business,” said Tashline Jooste, chief executive officer (CEO) of Innovator Trust.

“This is why it is important for Vodacom and Innovator Trust to partner in launching this programme. This is not only the opportunity for us to change the face of the Industry, but to also point these young up and coming entrepreneurs in the right direction, so they can to make a success of their businesses.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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