“South Africa has one of the world’s highest youth unemployment rates and promoting entrepreneurship among young people is the antidote to poverty in our country,” declares Shaakira Rahiman-Saleh boldly. Rahiman-Saleh is the spokesperson for the annual Young Business Achiever Awards (YBAA) which aims to recognize, reward and promote young entrepreneurs and creative small businesses in South Africa.
“Not everyone is an entrepreneur or born an entrepreneur, but entrepreneurship can be learnt and nurtured. We need to entrench a culture of entrepreneurship to grow South Africa’s economy and society,” she says passionately.
Launched in 2017 by Roshgold Investment Holdings, YBAA is open to South African job creators and entrepreneurs under the age of 37. Contestants stand to win over R500 000 worth of prizes, along with exposure to cutting-edge technology, expertise, mentorship, coaching and platforms to promote their businesses.
It’s not just about the winners, however. YBAA is sponsored and partnered by various business and investment groups, NGO’s, leading financial service providers and a network of seasoned business leaders and professionals. Intimate regional meets and the final gala event provide participants with valuable opportunities to network, engage and establish relationships with business mentors, potential funders, partners, and opportunities for their products or services.
“Roshgold is focussing specifically on young businesses who find it difficult to grow as they have limited support, experience and resources. We want to stimulate the personal and business development and growth of young entrepreneurs. Their success would facilitate much needed job creation in South Africa. Ultimately, their success is the country’s success,” says Rahiman-Saleh.
From stay-at-home mums creating baking pre-mixes to young students providing tech assistance, YBAA has attracted diverse entrepreneurs in terms of backgrounds and industries. Rahiman-Saleh is particularly excited about the 2017 and 2018 winners who showcased dynamic business models in the catering and mobile technology sectors.
“We are looking for committed, innovative businesses and job-creators with leaders who have clear aspirations, an appetite for learning, adopting technology and growing their businesses and communities,” adds Rahiman-Saleh.
Prospective candidates can obtain more information about YBAA and enter at www.ybaa.co.za. The closing date for applications is 30 October 2019. Regional meets will take place in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town throughout October.
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