Youth learn techniques to create businesses

* From left, False Bay TVET College principal Cassie Kruger, Deputy Minister of the Department of Small Business Development Elizabeth Thabethe, Small Enterprise Development Agency CEO Mandisa Tshikwatamba, ward councillor Felicity Purchase, the Department of Trade and Industrys Paseka Masemula, the Department of Higher Education and Trainings Vuyokazi Mafilika, advisory committee chairman Luvoyo Rani and Centre for Entrepreneurship manager Steve Reid.

False Bay College has stepped up to meet head on, one of the most critical needs of our nation: youth unemployment.

The Centre for Entrepreneurship (CFE), in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), has launched what is called a “Rapid Incubator “ on the college’s Westlake Campus.

The college idea behind the rapid incubator is to provide TVET graduates with the tools to create their own small businesses, which will help the development and growth of young entrepreneurs, instead of creating more job seekers.

Essentially this multifunctional space is designed to create an environment where future innovators and entrepreneurs will learn how to take an idea and hone it into a unique product or service, so it can become a sustainable small business.

The idea is to specifically help in job creation and economic growth for youth, women and physically challenged individuals.

The launch, held on Wednesday November 23, was led by Small Business Development Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe and Seda CEO Mandisa Tshikwatamba.

The rapid incubator and CFE will con-
tribute toward the growth of the manufacturing sector (metal fabrication) and furniture making, and aim to inspire a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among college graduates.

The centres are strategically placed to focus on sectors that are relevant to the local economic activities.

The idea is an answer to the rising youth unemployment figures. The CFE focuses on the theoretical aspects of business development and offers theoretical training focusing on business Entrepreneurship training and product conceptualisation.

Twenty small businesses will be selected for the incubation programme. This is an 18-month long course and the first six months are devoted to the CFE aspects. After six months, qualifying candidates will be put through a year-long programme where actual product development and refinement takes place.

The product is then made commercial – including financing and other business support – which will then launch that young person’s small business in the open market.

Luvuyo Rani, chairman of the advisory committee, told students that smart is the new sexy, that they have to persevere and that this will eventually work out. “You must be passionate about your idea and what you are going to do. You can change your situation and maybe even the world,” he
said.

Cassie Kruger, principal of False Bay College, said at the event: “The college’s mission is to provide graduates access to the world of work, higher education opportunities and self-employment. The one area that used to be lacking in fulfilling our mission is to assist students from our college to become entrepreneurs and establish their own businesses.”

He added: “We do not see the Centre for Entrepreneurship rapid incubator as a project, but as a permanent future focus area of the college – and will allocate resources as part of the college operations – going forward.”