Business pros mentor SA youth

Cape Town – South African youth have been urged to seize opportunities and not give up on establishing their own small businesses.

Encouraging young people to persevere, National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) chief executive Steven Ngubeni said “it’s too early to give up and be hopeless.”

He said youth across the country and in Africa should not wait to grab opportunities and later “cry foul” when they were gone.

Ngubeni spoke to BuaNews on Tuesday on the sidelines of an entrepreneurial mentorship programme provided by the NYDA’s partnership with US based Evo Media.

Ngubeni said most small businesses were collapsing within a year of establishment because of a lack of mentorship.

About 50 mentees from the Western Cape are to benefit from the mentorship programme, set to run for the next few days, before it is moved to Gauteng on Thursday.

Noli Mini testified at the gathering that her mobile health spar business was running well after receiving mentorship from the NYDA.

She said after three sessions of mentorship, she quit her job and to pursue her dream.

Mini challenged the NYDA to follow up with entrepreneurs and help them implement their business strategies.

She also challenged other entrepreneurs to seek opportunities and not to expect the NYDA to “perform miracles.”

Geer Kyle Dennison, a young fashion designer who recently moved to Cape Town from Johannesburg, said that after receiving mentorship, three boutiques had now accepted her clothing line.

Todd Plimpton, a mentor from the US, said he also learnt from the people he mentored, adding that mentoring helped him to “reground” his experiences.

Jabu Cindi, who runs a transport business in Cape Town, said apart from networking, he expected to learn more from the US mentors.

However, he complained that it was difficult to access the services of the NYDA and their “processes take too long.”

Western Cape NYDA chairman Ghaliep Essop said young people could rise beyond their poor backgrounds to run successful businesses.

According to the NYDA, over 5 000 young entrepreneurs across the country have accessed mentoring offered by local mentors. Over 500 seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs have volunteered to assist young business people.

It highlighted that over 50 group mentoring sessions had been held countrywide, covering key challenges affecting small businesses, such as access to funding, business leadership and staff development.

By Francis Hweshe, BuaNews

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