Step-Up-2-A-Start-Up ignites young South African entrepreneurs

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The Primestars Step Up 2 A Start Up programme continues to expose thousands of young South Africans to vital lessons in entrepreneurship.

“With the Fourth Industrial Revolution in full swing, technology-based businesses will provide solutions to many of these problems, creating unprecedented opportunities on which youth can capitalize. As such, the theme chosen for this year’s Step Up 2 A Start Up programme is Think Tech. Do Business, encouraging learners to embrace technology as a platform for small business creation,” said Martin Sweet, Primestars Managing Director.

“Technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, the internet of things, augmented reality, virtual reality and more, are creating new industries, products, services and occupations at an extraordinary rate. While the industrial era offered a world of work that was largely predictable, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has ushered in an era of massive interconnectedness and boundless potential,” said Sweet.

“Standard Bank is committed to entrepreneurship and we promote it among the Youth through exposing them to relevant financial skills that can turn their ‘hustle’ to commercial value and get them closer to their Next. The partnership with Step Up to A Start Up and Prime Stars Marketing complements the current Standard Bank ‘My Fearless Next’ campaign and our long-standing support of small businesses,” said Thulani Sibeko, Standard Bank Chief Marketing Officer.

“Sasol has once again come on-board as a national sponsor of the annual Step Up 2 A Start-Up initiative, aimed at providing secondary school learners with the right tools to become entrepreneurs. Sasol is supporting the programme for the fifth consecutive year. The theme for this year’s Step Up 2 A Start-Up is “Think Tech. Do Business”. High school learners will be challenges to come up with innovative ideas that speak to the theme and also recognise the era that we are in, which is that of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Abey Tau, Sasol Social Investment and Corporate Affairs Head.

Online platforms are improving how supply meets demand, digital machines are overcoming their past limitations and excelling beyond human capabilities and companies are outsourcing key aspects of business at much lower costs. As the cornerstone of this year’s Step Up 2 A Start Up programme, learners will be exposed to how technology lowers the barriers of entry, levels the playing field and enables start-ups to compete in an age of increasing automation.

“Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is a proud partner of the Step Up 2A Start Up initiative. Our involvement is based on a firm belief that this programme nurtures a culture of entrepreneurship among school learners from townships and rural areas. The programme is exposing them early to entrepreneurship attributes required to successfully venture into business. School learners also get a chance to start small enterprises and get to be exposed earlier to available support from Seda and other institutions. We are mindful that these businesses will also face risks, some will fail, some will succeed and certainly, all learners that pass through this programme will remain potential and intentional entrepreneurs. The lean methodology approach which is followed is an extremely practical, effective and fun for learners,” said Mandisa Tshikwatamba, SEDA Chief Executive Officer.

“We are always happy to support initiatives that assist in creating sustainable enterprises that contribute to community upliftment and job creation. We also believe that this begins with our youth as our business leaders of the future. We are encouraged that our support of the Step Up to a Start Up programme will help to unearth some amazingly talented young innovators, who will go on to build sustainable businesses and industries in line with our national aspirations of creating home grown industrialists,” says Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, MTN SA Foundation General Manager.

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Bontle Moeng is the Founder and Managing Director of BizNis Africa. Moeng has spent 15 years working in the digital and online media industry across Africa. She applied her trade at True Love magazine prior to discovering her passion for Investment news in key sectors across Africa. Moeng previously worked for ITWeb, Starfish Mobile Technologies, ITNewsAfrica, AVATAR Agency, eNitiate, Global Interface Consulting and Havas Johannesburg. Her primary focus is to provide solid and valuable content on investment opportunities for the ICT, Energy and Mining sectors across Africa. In addition, the online news publication assists global companies to expand their presence in Africa. Email: news@biznisafrica.co.za

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