Economic opportunity

Creating employment

Leading entrepreneurs aid SMME's
Creative thinking
Young township business owners will get a boost this month when The eKasi Entrepreneurship Conference comes to Khayelitsha.

Khayelitsha will play host to a conference that aims to empower and encourage youth entrepreneurship in the townships. Set to take place on 28 September 2012, the event will bring together entrepreneurs, business organizations, NGOs and experts from the UCT Graduate School of Business. 

Small businesses have the potential to create jobs and grow the economy but those who choose this route, often face challenges of access to resources, knowledge, support and guidance.

The eKasi Entrepreneurship Conference will afford young entrepreneurs the opportunity to sit through talks by leading entrepreneurs and business thinkers. Conference organizer and entrepreneur, Luvuyo Rani, says the idea is to unlock an entrepreneurial mindset and to impart knowledge of how to access finances and support.

“Through engagement with speakers and successful entrepreneurs, these young township entrepreneurs will see how others succeed. The hope is that this helps young business-minded people realize their potential while igniting their interest in entrepreneurship or encouraging them to take their businesses seriously,” he says.

The conference, under the theme ‘Inspire Learn Engage and Activate’, designed and organised by Founders@work, is for start-ups that already employ three to four people. According to Rani, 300 entrepreneurs are expected to participate.

Rani says that entrepreneurship in townships is very complex as people become entrepreneurs for different reasons. But they have one thing in common: They are hungry for assistance and ideas for growth.

“We find that people start businesses out of a survivalist need, while others identify opportunities to capitalise on,” he says. “You have entrepreneurs looking for tenders, sub-contractors, semi-formal business owners, and those looking to expand their businesses.”

“We want to act as a bridge for people to come and see how to do business, how to judge the market, how to approach partnerships,” he says. “But, we also want to encourage bigger businesses to consider partnerships with small township business, as there are many opportunities for growth in these areas.”

Other speakers to be at the conference include,VusiThembekwayo, Linda Dlova of the NYDA, Maloti Mothobi of Strato Wear, SiyabulelaXuza- who Nasa named a planet after, Viola Manual of the Cape Chamber of Commerce, Mokena Makeka of Makeka Designs, Guy Lundy from Accelerate Cape Town and many more.

The eKasi Entrepreneurship Conference will be held on 28 September 2012 and to find out more contact Elvis Sekhaolelo on call him on 074 561 0064.

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Issue 58