Young entrepreneurs exhibited their businesses at the Free State Youth Expo at Dr Rantlai Molemela Stadium, in Rocklands last Friday. The expo hosted by Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs included a pitching session and women in transport summit.
Newly appointed MEC Makalo Mohale who is also the ANC Youth League Provincial Chairperson has expressed that youth employment would be prioritised by the department. The two day event saw more than 1000 young people descend to the venue to explore available entrepreneur and career opportunities available in the province.
Jabulani Madela a Bloemfontein VolksWagen Workshop owner expressed that what makes him passionate about his trade is providing employment to other young people. “I employ five people three of whom are still studying towards their qualifications. I really want them to be motivated to accomplish their goals,” he said.
Lebohang Dlamini the manager of Bloem Beat Records, a local record label and Dj school expressed that there is a need for creative and professional businesses in the province. “Entertainment in the Free State is broad but we need to give them a professional touch,” he said. The company also sells sound equipment and produces customised equipment cases.
WN Capital a female owned business consultancy also saw a gap in the local market to help entrepreneurs become more established. “We act as a middleman to help people get their businesses where they want them to be. We create viable and individualised business plans amongst other things. We also help entrepreneurs reach investors,” said business development manager Keabecoe Boakye.
Premier Sisi Ntombela gave cash prizes to three young entrepreneurs with the best business pitches during the expo. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele