Awards: What awards or honors has your solution received, if any?
Total Startupper of the Year Finalist
Brightest Young Minds 2013
World Merit Top Young Entrepreneur 2011
Tell us about your partnerships
We are revolutionising the startup ecosystem in our country and thus our partners are mainly stakeholders who really want to change the lives of young people in the country, equipping them with the know-how, tools and expertise to become the masters of their own destiny. We believe that young people should also be treated as partners in their own development. Currently we are working on our partnership plan, to recruit partners by category of what we want to do. The Startup Foundation is an open platform than can be joined by different organisations and individuals with a statement of support. We also invite startup companies and successful entrepreneurs to join us, if they wish to contribute to the vision of an entrepreneurial and talent-friendly country.
Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
We currently don't have sufficient funding to activate and run our planned programmes. We have knocked to various doors in the industry and many of them promised to come back to us. We had pitched our programmes to some institutions and two of those who had learnt that our organisation will create much needed impact tried to steal our ideas and run with them. Unfortunately they couldn't understand the dynamics behind these innovations and how to implement them. We are rigorously raising funds and signing up volunteers to help strengthen our muscles and create impact. We have since developed our very own website and launched our planned projects to the media so as to protect our ideas from being stolen.
How does your idea help young people create bright futures and improve opportunities for meaningful and long-term careers?
At a time when South Africa’s biggest issue is youth unemployment, businesses and government must work together to help young people develop an entrepreneurial mindset. That means fostering a culture which supports young people to take risks, set up businesses, create jobs and become masters of their own destiny. Whether it’s through finance, mentoring, incentives or training, we must all play our part so that this generation can achieve its full potential.
The Startup Foundation seeks to tell a new story about the role of young entrepreneurs in South Africa. Rather than viewing young people as ‘problems to be solved’, We believe that we need to recognize and support their role as innovative and creative thinkers. We need to engage them as partners in development, equipping them with the know-how and tools to impact their own lives and uplift their own communities.
We believe that entrepreneurs are the leading drivers of prosperity, jobs, and innovation. Without entrepreneurs, we would cease to move forward within our local economies and our country. With this belief at the core of this organization, we strive to support young entrepreneurs. We want to encourage young people to become entrepreneurs and take risks, to give life and sustainability to big ideas. With the formidable challenges facing South Africa’s young people, the final lesson is that no idea can be too big.
With The Startup Foundation, we will boost entrepreneurship through education. I personally believe that a cultural shift is necessary for youth entrepreneurship and innovation to accelerate. We believe that there is a very strong need for more innovative funding models and that our government needs to play a more supportive role. We believe that young people will be the driving force behind our economic prosperity in the coming decades, but we need policies and programs to enhance their opportunities.
We are working on exciting initiatives that'll will change how young entrepreneurs view entrepreneurship in South Africa. Our lined up projects include setting up the Startup Bank, Startup Assembly, Startup Hotline, Startup Campaign as well as declaring 2015 as the Year of The Startup and many exciting interventions which I will gladly share with you.
Intervention Focus: Identify which of the following best explain key parts of your solution
Job Creation, Job Search, Entrepreneurship, Training/Skill Development, Community, Online Learning, Mentorship, New industries, Policy & Analysis, Products or Services, Financing, Rural Economies.
Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.
Strengthen Job-Matching Services: help those who prepare, match, and link job seekers with opportunities to grow
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.
Lack of youth empowerment