City empowers unemployed youth
ROODEPOORT NORTHSIDER / 22 MARCH 2018 - 14.00 / STAFF REPORTER
SMME contributing to a reduction in unemployment.
The City of Johannesburg has come up with a project to help the unemployed youth of Johannesburg find employment.
Cllr Leah Knott MMC for Economic Development. Photo: Siso Naile.
The City of Johannesburg’s Economic Development Department has officially launched the first of its planned 14 Opportunity Centres (OPCs), which are set to empower Johannesburg’s entrepreneurs and unemployed youth.
According to the City, they firmly believe that the development and support of Small, Medium and Micro-enterprises (SMMEs) and entrepreneurs will play a huge role in achieving five percent economic growth by 2021 with sustainable SMMEs contributing to a reduction in unemployment.
It was explained that, to ensure a high level of support, the City has invited a range of public and private sector partners from various disciplines to be part of this ground-breaking project with some of the key stakeholders taking up residence within these facilities. The OPCs will each be managed by a City of Johannesburg official in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency.
They will identify and earmark appropriate courses and skills training in conjunction with the City’s partners in order to provide:
(a) A ‘Single Point of Entry’ for SMMEs;
(b) Registration of companies and Sars-related functions;
(c) Access to funding, markets, economic infrastructure and information to grow the businesses, and
(d) Assistance with the completion of tender documents and related issues.
The Office of the Member of the Mayoral Committee for the Department of Economic Development and the City of Johannesburg facilitated an SMME Outreach Programme between September and October 2017 across the City’s seven regions. The objective of this engagement was to actively engage with small business owners about the City’s provision of services and business support in order to conceptualise an efficient business support model.
The decision was then taken to launch five OPCs across the City within the 2017/ 18 financial year.
Two of the OPCs would be relocated and rebranded to be more accessible to entrepreneurs, whilst three others will be refurbished and rebranded in their current locations.
The Department stated that it also plans to launch a centralised Job Seeker’s Desk towards the middle of the year, to further enhance the support offered by the OPCs. Another new and exciting feature in addition to this will be the introduction of Innovation Desks where SMMEs and entrepreneurs can access a platform to launch their unique ideas and receive expert assistance in developing them.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER