KEETMANSHOOP - The youth of //Kharas Region have been challenged to come up with innovative business ideas and take part in a pitch competition which will see winners win prize monies of up to N$15 000.
In an effort to foster entrepreneurial spirit amongst youth, //Kharas Youth Entrepreneurship Development Program (KYEDP) will host a five-day entrepreneurship training day, and youth are encouraged to step up to the challenge and show that they have the business acumen and can make things happen for themselves.
The program’s spokesperson MacDonald Christiaan in an interview with New Era said the program aims to assist young people with brilliant business ideas but have no funding and professional guidance to either start their businesses or expand them.
He said the program wants to bring together brilliant business minded youth from the region for a five day entrepreneurship training, where with a registration fee of N$500 only, the participants will get training, while accommodation, meals and transport will be free during the duration of the training.
Christiaan added while all participants will get trained, those whose ideas will come out on top during the business pitch competition will win prize monies, with the overall winner set to pocket N$15 000, while second to fourth place winners will get N$7000, N$5000, N$3000 and N$2000 respectively, and on top of that they will also get ongoing support and a 12 months business mentorship program, a support system he said is necessary if small businesses are to thrive and stay in business.
“Most times small businesses fail because there is no follow up from those that provide them with funding to start their businesses, be it government or any other organisation, and with this program, we want to give the youth new hope in the entrepreneurship field,” he said.
Christiaan said as a young person involved with youth activities in the region, he is very well aware of the challenges and problems they face and although many have lost faith in government programs aimed at assisting them, he hopes that many will make an effort to be part of such a wonderful program.
He added that while the program is focused on //Kharas for now, it aims to expand and include participants from other regions in the future, if and when funds permit, saying all young people should be empowered.
Christiaan however is not impressed with the number of entries received so far, and with the due date for registration set for 15 September, he urged young people to register and not miss such a great program.
“So far we have received few entries and it may be due to the N$500 fee, but the fee is nothing compared to what they will gain from this program, we want youth to establish businesses free of loans, and also get mentorship that will help keep them in business for long,” he explained.
The training and pitch competition dates will be announced once registration has been completed Accomodation fore participants will be in Keetmanshoop for the five