Cape Town June 15 2012: On the eve of National Youth Day celebrations, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry will officially launch the Cape Chamber Youth Desk.
Viola Manuel, Executive Director of the Cape Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber Youth Desk will become a representative embodiment of the development and promotion of youth entrepreneurial activity in the Cape Region and beyond.
“We are mindful of the fact that there are high levels of youth unemployment and it is extremely difficult for young people to become entrepreneurs and manage sustainable businesses. In this context we need to consider the up-skilling of youth in an effort to prepare them to lead the country. Our youth are the future entrepreneurs that will contribute to the competiveness of this economy and it is up to established businesses and business organisations to step up and make sure they are equipped to deal with this responsibility”, Ms. Manuel said.
The main objective over the next 12 months will be to provide support services to at least 500 new youth owned businesses who could potentially employ more than 2000 workers, a number which includes first time job seekers. A further 25 businesses owned by previously disadvantaged youth will become direct beneficiaries of the Cape Chamber’s Economic Development Fund through a sponsorship package valued at R6500 each. These businesses will experience the full benefit of the Cape Chamber membership, as well as additional support services in the form of mentoring, coaching programmes, training and development seminars with a focus on financial and businesses administration.”
These support services will be in the form of mentoring and coaching programmes for young entrepreneurs as well as training and development seminars with a focus on financial and businesses administration.”
The Chamber Youth Desk will become a vehicle to promote youth entrepreneurial programmes and its key focus will be on youth owned businesses as well as promoting a culture of entrepreneurship amongst high school learners and business studies students at tertiary institutions.
“Our core values of providing leadership, creating an enabling business environment and of serving the business community will also impact on how the Chamber Youth Desk will operate in providing these services to Youth Owned Businesses. The core focus of the Chamber Youth Desk will be to ‘Empower Youth to Employ’, which is a strategy the Chamber believes is increasingly necessary if we are to address the twin issues of youth empowerment and youth unemployment,” Manuel explained.
The Chamber Youth Desk will also become a key partner in engaging and lobbying government institutions to create a more favourable business environment for Youth Owned Businesses and to significantly reduce the cost of doing business for young entrepreneurs.
“We will be calling on big businesses to support the programmes of the Chamber Youth Desk and will also engage with our international partners to create an International Youth Fellowship Exchange programme”, Manuel said.
Companies who are owned and run by motivated people younger than 35 years old should get in touch with Vuyisa Qabaka at the Chamber on 021 402 4300 or via www.capechamber.co.za