Bringing youthful hope

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Currently in South Africa, only about 15% of high school students make it to university, and the youth unemployment rate rests at 63.1% - no doubt with the former influencing the latter. The situation seems bleak until you realise that Branded Youth, with headline sponsor Standard Bank, has developed a platform that will provide South African matriculants and university students with the tools needed to navigate this volatile economic environment: the Standard Bank Youth Expo, to be held in on 06 and 07 August this year at the Sandton Convention Centre.

“There’s a greater need for brands and organizations to engage with the youth of South Africa to ensure that they are educated and empowered for the future, we therefore designed The Standard Bank Youth Expo as a platform that will fully cater to this,” says  Bradley Maseko, MD of Branded Youth.

The Standard Bank Youth Expo will run as a career exhibition and youth conference with the aim of inspiring and assisting South Africa’s future leaders, entrepreneurs and all-round ambitious value-seekers by offering them access to networks, organisations and information that will have a valuable impact on their professional journeys.

“Our research and the current political climate show that South African youth are concerned about their future outlook,” says Motlatsi Mkalala, Senior Manager for Youth Customer Financial Solutions at Standard Bank South Africa. “They are afraid of becoming another unemployment statistic, failed entrepreneurs, or being unable to afford their tertiary tuition. The Standard Bank Youth Expo will show them that this does not have to be the case. The Youth Expo will provide all the resources necessary that can help turn dreams of future success and prosperity into reality.”

Furthermore, through the expo, Standard Bank and Branded Youth aim to raise R3 million through sponsorships, exhibitor contributions, donations from the public at large including private businesses. Once achieved, the money will be donated to various tertiary institutions, so they can award bursaries to deserving students.

“The fund isn’t reliant on the expo, however,” Mr Mkalala continues. “The public are welcome to join us in changing lives and building a better South Africa together by contributing to our crowd-funded “Pay It Forward” fund on the ADDaBIT- Simple Social Saving platform. For contributions to the fund, Visit, go to search fund and insert the fund code ‘ACHNZAAHUw’. On the Fund Page click “add-a-bit” to start contributing.

“The need to provide young South Africans with opportunities and access to quality tertiary education is now urgent and paramount to our nation’s success. If our youth move forward, the country moves forward, meaning prosperity for all in all spheres – the Standard Bank Youth Expo is a step in the right direction in facilitating a better future for all,” concludes Mr Mkalala.

The Standard Bank Youth Expo will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre on 06 and 07 August. For more information, to book your exhibition stand or for the conference schedule, visit the expo page on

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Issue 58