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Youth say yes to entrepreneur development programme

R NEWS/ 18 DECEMBER 5.05 / The Tembisan

Yes4Youth Hub is abuzz with activities aimed at empowering the unemployed youth in Tembisa and has even attracted the attention of the World Bank

PICTURE: World Bank president Jim Yong Kim visits the Yes4Youth Hub.

Yes4Youth Hub is abuzz with activities aimed at empowering the unemployed young people in Tembisa.

The president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, visited the hub on Monday, December 3, as part of his tour to review the all Yes Hubs in South Africa. He was accompanied by the minister of higher education, Naledi Pando, and a delegation of high-level business people and government representatives.

One of the World Bank’s strategic goals is to reduce poverty.

Yes CEO Tashmia Ismail-Saville said Kim and company travelled from the JSE in Sandton to Tembisa for the formal opening of the Yes Hub.

The Hub is an ecosystem that exposes communities to technology and new ways of working and reveals the range of options available to youth to grow and develop economic pathways,” Ismail-Saville said.

“It aims to drive communities to be producers rather than consumers.

“It operates as a sustainable focal point for the seeding of ideas, programmes, dissemination of information and small business support,” Ismail-Saville explained.

Ekurhuleni mayor councillor Mzwandile Masina and Gauteng premier David Makhura visited the Tembisa Yes4Youth Hub on December 6 to hear about the problems faced by young entrepreneurs in the township.

“This SMME hub is one of the flagship projects of the township economy revitalisation.

“We are working with our municipalities, particularly the City of Ekurhuleni, to turn around the townships so that they become thriving centres of economic development. Townships were designed by apartheid to be reserves of cheap labour, but we are turning them around.

“We are bringing in the private sector and big corporates to work with local businesses and to create infrastructure such as this hub.

“We want to also bring other resources and opportunities for township businesses, especially businesses owned by young people,” said Makhura.

Makhura added that small businesses everywhere in the world are now the key drivers of employment and more jobs are going to come from the SMME sector.

“Big businesses are retrenching people, but SMME businesses, if they are well supported, will be able to create jobs, especially businesses operating in the township.

“As the Gauteng government we want to revitalise township businesses and we want township business people to know that they will get support from provincial government, access to the market, including access to funding, as well as good infrastructure for businesses, such this Yes4Youth Hub,” Makhura explained.

He said the hub is one of 30 industrial parks in Gauteng townships.

“Our people in the township must know that the money they make must be spent in the townships to improve their houses, to improve the township infrastructure and to make townships a place where children grow up without saying they need to move to the suburbs,” said Makhura.

Masina said they met a number of budding entrepreneurs who raised a number of concerns, such as business premises, access to finance and access to the market.

“We believe that with all the combined government programmes, if consolidated, we should be able to assist some of these entrepreneurs.

“We also heard some good ideas that can be utilised in government to try and change some of our policies so that they can be responsive to the needs of our people on the ground,” said Masina.

Thabang Makgabo, from a Tembisa-based SMME called Fratelli Lifestyle, said if the money budgeted for small business and the promised premises are delivered, businesses will certainly grow to another level.

“We will then be able to employ many people around Tembisa and the unemployment rate can come down,” said Makgabo.


Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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