June 2023.

Training, funding and mentoring for youth-owned community businesses is key to helping create sustainable entities and stimulate local employment, and with the recent handover of technology starter kits and business branding, beneficiary enterprises have been given yet another boost to facilitate their growth.

Having identified a lack of adequate access to technology amongst many of the youth-owned enterprises that Soutpan Solar Power supports as part of its youth entrepreneurship development programme, a cohort of six SMME’s have received business technology hardware.

Speaking after the hand-over event, Makgabo Moremi, owner of BCF Chemicals, said, “The laptop will come in handy for me because before I would have to go to the internet café to do my financial statements, and to update my compliance, so receiving the laptop has contributed a lot in cutting down my traveling expenses. It also allows me flexibility to do business administrative work at any time, as I can now attend to it at night, if my day is too busy. The banner helps with sales as we are more recognisable, and our customers feel more comfortable to approach us – it works wonders.”

This youth entrepreneurship development programme, which is now in its third year of operation, is implemented in collaboration with an eco-system of partners, including the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA); Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA); Venetia Mine; Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET); Department of Rural Development, and Capricorn District Municipality.

“This added support came about due to the realisation that these SMMEs were struggling to submit compliance reports, which forms part of their financial management as beneficiaries of this development programme,” commented Harrisinah Theka, Economic Development Specialist for Soutpan Solar Power, who believes young business owners, like Makgabo, should be supported and encouraged.