VENTURES AFRICA – Telkom Foundation, in conjunction with Continuing Education at the University of Pretoria, today launched its Entrepreneurship Programme aimed at up-skilling 350 business-minded youth and women delegates in South Africa, to start and grow businesses.
According to Telkom Foundation Head, Sarah Mthintso, “Entrepreneurship is an important vehicle towards job creation and it is for this reason that the foundation is investing in empowering entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs with the requisite skills and knowledge needed to venture into this area”
She stressed that Telkom aims to fight poverty and reduce unemployment of youth, graduates, and women through the programme.
Candidates have been selected from databases of various South African government agencies and other organizations working with entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.
The training programme is aimed at different levels with varying criteria. The Telkom Foundation funding accommodates 100 unemployed youth graduates in Gauteng to receive Entrepreneurship Development training and mentorship; 100 unemployed youth with no businesses in the Northern Cape to receive Business Start-Up training and mentorship; 100 small business owners in the Free State to receive Basic Entrepreneurship training and mentorship.
Also, 50 business women in Gauteng to be trained and mentored within the Women Entrepreneurship Development Programme.
The training duration for the different programmes ranges from 5-10 days, and mentorship, which is support given to candidates after training, ranges from 30-50 days.
It is envisaged that similar initiatives will occur in other provinces.
The company noted in an official statement that: “The training programme is well researched and is set to make a meaningful, sustainable impact for the candidates.”
South Africa, Africa’s largest economy, with a population of 52 million people has a disturbing 23.9 percent rate of unemployment which has sparked various protest, youth unrest, and xenophobia.
Telkom is a leading communications services provider in South Africa and on the African continent. The group generated free cash flow of 2.1 billion rand ($237 milliom) for the year ended 31 March 2012.