(Cape Town, 23 September 2021): Today, the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship South Africa and Naspers’s youth development programme, Naspers Labs, are reiterating the call for young entrepreneurs to apply to its Young Entrepreneur Development programme, launched at the beginning of September.
Part of the Branson Centre’s Ignite business accelerator programme, which seeks to help entrepreneurs leave an impact on society, the environment and the economy, the Young Entrepreneur Development programme is a nine-month intensive accelerator specifically aimed at young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 29 years whose businesses are committed to youth job creation.
“One of the most significant challenges facing South African youth today is unemployment,” says Nwabisa Mayema, Strategic Partnerships Director at the Branson Centre. “With more and more youth finding it difficult to secure work, we believe young entrepreneurs have an important role to play in creating employment opportunities for their peers.”
“We’re delighted to be able to invite our country’s young entrepreneurs to apply for the business accelerator programme with the Branson Centre. As Naspers Labs, we are focused on launching South Africa’s unemployed youth into economic activity by preparing them for the job market or to become entrepreneurs. The implementation of this programme will further contribute to the government’s goal of assisting small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and building a culture of entrepreneurship, as well as bring more people into the mainstream economy,” adds Mapule Ncanywa, Head of Naspers Labs.
The Young Entrepreneurs Development Programme follows on the heels of the Branson Centre’s Food Waste Innovation Challenge, launched earlier this year. As with its food-waste counterpart, participants who gain access to the Ignite programme will benefit from nine months of intense work broken into eight areas of impact; direct mentorship; access to expert opinion and insights; workshops; and third-party collaborations on purpose, brand identity and marketing.
The Branson Centre in partnership with Naspers Labs’s Young Entrepreneurs Development programme is open to all South African citizens currently residing in the country, who are between the ages of 18 and 29, and whose business creates or has the potential to create employment.
Entrepreneurs who have an innovative solution to youth unemployment and are interested in applying for the challenge can register via the Branson Centre website.