In conjunction with the celebration of Youth Month in South Africa, the Innovator Trust announced their fourth intake of 50 young entrepreneurs to their flagship youth incubation programme for the 2022/23 period.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, dubbed more commonly as YEP, was first started in 2017 as a partnership between the Innovator Trust and Vodacom, in order to provide local unemployed youth with the practical skills, facilitated training and mentorship support required for young people, aged 18-35, with entrepreneurial pursuits.
The 12 month programme has since inception experienced steady growth year-on-year, with an increase in intake of youth beneficiaries, from 10 in 2017 to 50 in 2022, so far the biggest group yet. Historically, the YEP programme has had presence across the country including Gauteng, Mpumalanga, the Western Cape and the Free State. That reach has expanded this year with the launch of Kwa-Zulu Natal as the fifth province added to the YEP programme.
Over the next year, beneficiaries of the YEP programme will undergo intensive skills development and business acumen training geared towards equipping the 50 young South Africans with technical and personal development tools necessary to embark on a path as an entrepreneur. The programme also features an internship segment which exposes individuals to the requirements and challenges of a real-life work environment.
With nearly two-thirds of South African youth unemployed (64.4% of those aged 15-24 unemployed and 42.9% of those aged 25-34 unemployed), it does not take much convincing that drastic action and greater investment overall, is what is necessary to address the issue of youth unemployment. More importantly, an acute approach is what our youth need if we are to undo the compounding effect that a lack of jobs, platforms, access and opportunities have had on the attitude and outlook of young people of South Africa.
It is with a warm welcome and resounding congratulations that we announce the new young and dynamic YEP beneficiaries for 2022/23 below: Welcome Class of 2022
Nsovo Aubrey Maluleke
Free State Youth
Sello Lucky Lesebo
Kwa-Zulu Natal Youth
Western Cape Youth
Tsuso Jury Lebaea
John-Lee Morgan Bergh
Wilmur Van Niekerk