In an effort to promote entrepreneurship and training, the City of Joburg, in partnership with Discovery, has opened a skills development centre in Orange Farm in Region G.
The centre's objective is to tackle the triple challenges of youth unemployment, crime and substance abuse head on.
Orange Farm is one of the townships in the City that battles with the high youth unemployment rate and increasing substance abuse.
Speaking at the launch on Tuesday, 16 October 2018, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development in the City of Johannesburg Cllr Mpho Phalatse said the centre will assist young people to start their businesses through the LEAN start-up programme.
“Lean-start up is an incubator that revolves around an initial business idea, which consequently gets developed into a prototype, this prototype gets tested by customers and through the feedback of the customers the product gets refined," said Phalatse.
The centre will provide aspiring and existing entrepreneurs with training and a platform to enhance creativity and growth. It will also improve the financial position of young women in Orange Farm by giving them preference.
Discovery's Chief People Officer Tswelo Kodisang said: “When businesses look at society, they need to be ready to solve social problems as that will mark true impact and sustainable development." Netherlands Ambassador Hans Peters said it is important to place technology in the hands of young people with ideas to help them build capacity in order to tackle the world.
Ward Councillor Lucky Mbuso warned about the use of drugs and called on the youth take this opportunity and make use of the centre to change their lives for the better.
The CoJ/Discovery Business Centre will offer the following:
- Business and Finance training: training relating to new venture creation, how to operate an SMME, maths and bookkeeping for existing female entrepreneurs.
- Business incubation: will assist young women from the township with the start of their businesses.
- Preferential procurement: Youth and black-owned businesses will get access to clients through our procurement department;
- Access to funding: entrepreneurs with a solid business idea will get access to grassroots capital, in the form of interest-free microloans, to kick-start their businesses;
- Business Support: Entrepreneurs will receive weekly one-on-one business support sessions. During these sessions, the entrepreneurs will be assisted with all business related and life skills.