Youth to the summit

Moses Tembe, Chairman of KwaZulu-Natal Growth Collision

EThekwini Municipality has made a concerted effort to empower young people by providing an enabling environment for them to become successful entrepreneurs and will host the first ever Youth in Business Summit during Youthn Month, to ensure that young people are fully integrated into the mainstream economy.

This announcement was made by the Deputy Mayor and Chairperson of the Economic Development and Planning Committee, Cllr Nomvuzo Shabalala during the three-day North Regional Fair which took place at Bridge City Shopping Centre from 19 to 21 June 2015.

During the summit, young people were be addressed by various sector specialists, policy experts, government leaders and officials who shared knowledge and discussed solutions to the challenges facing young entrepreneurs.

The Fair, which was held in conjunction with a two-day Business Indaba, attracted more than 10 000 visitors and 110 exhibitors.

“I was pleased to see that over 70% of the exhibitors at the Business Indaba were youth, which gives me hope that there are still young people who are committed to growing their businesses in order to change the livelihood of our people,” said Shabalala.

Shabalala also encouraged youth to participate in the Youth in Business Summit.  “The event focused primarily on entrepreneurial development, with emphasis on creating an environment conducive for the start-up and development of micro and medium business ventures as key drivers for economic growth and job creation.Those who are already in business were  given a chance to showcase their products, network with established businesses and to potential buyers,” added Shabalala.

Renowned entrepreneur and Chairman of KwaZulu-Natal Growth Collision, Moses Tembe addressed delegates during the Fair and stressed on the importance of proper planning in building a successful business.

“Townships have big business opportunities as the entire country is moving to smarter and inventive ways of living. Youth is now exposed to technology which offers them a better chance of transforming old ways of doing things to create new business ventures,” said Tembe.

Tembe applauded the Municipality for always proving various platforms to empower entrepreneurs, more especially the youth. He urged young people to take full advantage of such platforms, adding that businesses are the key to job creation and tackling poverty.

At the Fair, local young and successful entrepreneurs advised delegates not to take such workshops lightly because they can change their lives for the better.

One of the success stories from an emerging entrepreneur, whose idea started by attending the municipality’s business development platforms, was Vusi Ntuli founder of Fashion Café situated at Ntuzuma E section.

He said: “With the city’s mentorship, I was able to come up with a business idea of starting an upmarket fast food restaurant in a township area and my business has created employment opportunities to 10 locals.”

Ntuli won R25 000 for excelling in the 2011 Municipality’s Lion’s Den Business Plan Competition, which he used to develop his fast food business even further.

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