100 entrepreneurs from Cape Town, South Africa have made it to the #YouthStartCT Entrepreneurial Challenge; a startup incubation program aimed at giving mentorship and training to budding entrepreneurs. The program also seek to identify promising startups with solutions that can be scaled up and applied in solving challenges facing the masses.
The program has been organized by the City of Cape Town’s Social Services Directorate, with the aim of contributing to the city’s business skills development, innovation, and spark entrepreneurship.
Now on its second leg, the inaugural edition of the competition was held last year where three winners were identified and walked home with a combined prize of R200,000 to get their businesses off the ground.
The current (2nd) edition is open only to entrepreneurs from Cape Town (Capetonians) aged between 18 – 35 and must be South African citizens. The eligible startups must either be an existing business with employees, or a promising startup showing potential to create sustainable job opportunities.
The competition has already passed the applications and assessment phase, and 100 entrepreneurs have been selected as finalists. The 100 entrepreneurs will go through a 10 week training and mentoring program through Absa’s ‘Ready to Work’ program to help assess the viability of their products and services in the marketplace.
Out of this cohort of 100 entrepreneurs, 20 will be selected and given further mentoring and training. Thereafter, they will be sieved down to just 10 entrepreneurs, who will advance to the next stage of the competition; join the Absa’s financial literacy program, which will be marked y a special hackathon with a Demo Day climax in June.
The Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lile, said, “This is not something that we, as government, can do alone. We are grateful to our partners from the private sector and institutions that are assisting us to change the odds and transform the lives of young people in Cape Town.
We are extremely proud of these partners for stepping up to the plate and assisting the youth through this corporate social investment. And we call it an investment because when we give to the youth it is society at large that benefits. It is the key to unlocking the potential within them, allowing them to become citizens who can contribute to the greater good.”
From the last 10 entrepreneurs remaining, the top three will be selected winners and announced at a gala event set to be held later this year. The top three winners will walk home with various prizes including business support, access to a network of partners and mentors.