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Absa TVETS and the Awethu Project Cash Up winners

BIZ COMMUNITY / 30 JANUARY 2018 - 14.00 / STAFF REPORTER

The winners of the Absa TVETS and the Awethu Project Cash Up competitions were announced an an event featuring local celeb, Loyiso Bala, at Constitution Hill last week. Here, 26 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college students from around the country battled it out to take top honours and walk away with over R150,000 in cash prizes.

The event marks the culmination of months of both virtual and in-person coaching which started with the launch of the Awethu Project App on 16 June last year. Made possible by banking partner, Absa, the award-winning app is a digital coach on your phone. These budding business owners were joined by over 6,000 other TVET students who downloaded the Awethu Project App and used it to become financially independent entrepreneurs. “The free App puts essential training and tools into the hands of not only the TVET students, but all aspiring entrepreneurs,” explains Yusuf Randera-Rees, Co-founder and CEO of the Awethu Project. He adds, “The best part is that the App offers a level of daily support that the 25,000 current users would not have otherwise had access to.”

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Supporting the development and promotion of the App is a one of Absa’s key initiatives in enabling entrepreneurship and small business. Charles Reed, Head Enterprise Development Group Citizenship says, “We’re really excited, not only about the impact the App is already having here in South Africa, but its potential to reach across the continent and we already have partners asking to use the App outside South Africa as well.”

Absa and the Awethu Project also travelled across all nine provinces to host business growth sessions at TVET colleges around the country. “These sessions were aimed at helping the students start or grow their businesses with a specific goal of inspiring them to be income creators,” explains Randera-Rees. It was also at these sessions that the Absa TVET and the Awethu Cash Up competitions were launched. Over the months that followed, students were encouraged to start a business (if they didn’t have one already) and use the app to keep track of their financials and grow their business. “The top three students in each category were then selected at the end of November based on seven different criteria including the strength of their business, increased profits and their ability to follow-through and deliver on agreed-upon tasks. Those individuals with the best overall score, when assessed using these criteria, won the overall category,” says Randera-Rees. The following talented entrepreneurs walked away with cash prizes and will also receive ongoing business coaching by members of the Awethu Project.

Absa TVETS Existing Business Owner winners

  • Nondabula Nonkqubela (R25,000) (Kwa-Zulu Natal Coastal)

  • Paulina Makila (R10,000) (Sekhukhune)

  • Shiela Zwane (R5,000) (South West TVET College)

Absa TVETS Start-Up winners

  • Melusi Audicious Mlotshwa (R25,000) (Ekurhuleni East TVET College)

  • Nathi Mdutyana (R10,000) (Buffalo City FET College)

  • Tshepo Thabo Qoi (R5,000) (Vuselela FET College)

The Awethu Project CashUp winners

  • Lerato Makgotlho - R50k

  • Inet Sithole - R15k

  • Khanya Mdlalo - R10k

“We’re really grateful for the kindness of partners like Absa, for without their support, our vision simply would not become a reality!” concludes Randera-Rees.

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LINK : http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/500/172835.html

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