Next generation of entrepreneurs gets a hand up at Small Business Expo

South Africa’s most innovative junior entrepreneurs will again gain exposure to the real world of business, when Eskom’s SimamaRanta finalists participate in the Small Business Expo in Johannesburg.

The SimamaRanta Entrepreneurship Education programme identifies,honours and showcases South African secondary schools excelling in preparing their learners to become entrepreneurs.

Noting that fostering entrepreneurship amongst the youth in South Africa is crucial for driving future economic growth and business sustainability, the Eskom Development Foundation runs the SimamaRanta competition as one of its enterprise development initiatives, including the Eskom Business Investment Competition for existing small businesses. The Foundation is tasked with implementing Eskom’s CSI strategy in sectors including enterprise development, education, healthcare, social and community development.

Cecil Ramonotsi, acting CEO at the Foundation, says the Eskom Development Foundation and EWET (Education with Enterprise Trust) have partnered to actively champion entrepreneurial skills development at school level for the past eight years, giving learners holistic business skills development opportunities with a view to helping them become employers, rather than employees.  One past SimamaRanta finalist, PesalomeMoilwa, who has gone on to become a successful entrepreneur with her own guesthouse in Welkom, attributes her success in part to having had a solid early launchpad to her business career.

The 28 finalists of the SimamaRantaprogramme from across South Africa showcase their entrepreneurship projects at the Small Business Expo from 31 August to 2 September at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg.

This opportunity has a broad impact on the development of young entrepreneurs, says Carol Weaving, MD of Reed Exhibitions: “Not only does it give SimamaRanta finalists an opportunity to benefit from the networking and learning opportunities and exposure at the Expo, but it also serves to inspire other young would-be entrepreneurs attending the show. Nowhere else can the entire South African entrepreneurial community converge for three days of opportunities, business meetings and knowledge-sharing.”

 This focus on developing aspiring young entrepreneurs aligns with the National Youth Policy statement 2015-2020, in which generation 2020 says ‘We don’t want a hand-out, we want a hand up!’ says Weaving. “The NYP seeks ‘integrated, holistic and sustainable youth development’, and we believe there is no better way to achieve this than to help our young entrepreneurs to develop sustainable businesses, and integrate them into the South African economy.”

The SimamaRanta Schools Expo will be taking place alongside the Small Business Expo in the Blue Wing Conference and Events Centre at the Ticketpro Dome.

The Small Business Expo, to be held alongside the #BuyaBusiness expo from 31 August to 2 September 2017 at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding, is devoted to the development of small and medium sized enterprises, providing an invaluable platform for small businesses to market their businesses and interact with prominent business leaders and representatives from a number of corporate companies. It’s the ideal platform to stimulate business growth and motivate both current and aspiring entrepreneurs. The Small Business Expo is presented in partnership with Eskom and organised by Reed Exhibitions.

For more information, and to pre-register for free attendance please visit www.smallbizexpo.co.za

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