The Sakhingomso Foundation and various entities including government departments will launch the first youth entrepreneurship summit at the Thobi Kula Indoor Sports Centre on Friday.
The organisations include the Chris Hani District Municipality, Chris Hani Business Forum, Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, Small Enterprise Development Agency, Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (Dedeat), the Black Management Forum and the Department of Social Development.
The summit, which will be held annually during Youth Month, seeks to address the challenges facing youth in business.
The theme will be “Youth as an Asset in Innovation” and will look at ways in which organisations, business and government can engage in empowering young and prospective entrepreneurs to occupy spaces in the economic sphere.
Samkelo Bokhwe, co-ordinator at Sakhingomso, said: “It is an information-sharing day. We will discuss how young people can unlock the opportunities available from government’s financial institutions, among other things. We also want to know what plan the government has to tackle the problems faced by young people in the unemployment crisis. We want to boost the rural and township economy by capacitating the youth.”
Delegates at the summit will discuss and evaluate the progress of economic transformation in the SMME sector in the Chris Hani District and how entrepreneurs can navigate challenges they face working with the district and local municipalities. Dialogue through panel discussions will open the floor for delegates to engage with the relevant stakeholders who are essential in the areas in which they operate, to share information and identify bottlenecks in transformation.
The summit will have three sessions, from addresses by different speakers in government and industry leaders, panel discussions to a question-and-answer session on the topics discussed.
Some of the speakers will include Mlimbo Qhoboshiyane; deputy speaker of the Eastern Cape legislature who will analyse the provincial economic trends and the opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution.
Ken Clark, CEO of Twizza, will deliver a message of support to young entrepreneurs and Mkhululi Phakade, who is the executive chair of Khula Investment Group and director of Makardia farm, will advise how SMMEs can access finance from government.