55 Entrepreneurs Selected for First Ever Desert Startup Bootcamp

55 young and aspiring entrepreneurs have been selected to take part in the first ever “Desert Start-up Bootcamp” Tshwane, a three-month experiential learning program to empower young entrepreneurs and expose them to best practices.

A collaboration between Speak Afrika, Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CAFSA) and the U.S Embassy Pretoria, the program is aimed at building an ecosystem for entrepreneurs in South Africa.

Nearly 180 entrepreneurs applied to be a part of the program, however only 55 of them made the cut.

The 55 will take part in weekly workshops, pitching sessions, and mentoring and engagement with established business leaders at the American Corner Pretoria throughout the duration of the program.

The American Corner Pretoria will offer the participants access to high-speed Internet and state of the art equipment, together with digital and print resources.

The program will culminate in a pitch competition in August 2017 that will set the foundation for participants to build their client networks and investments in their business.

“Unemployment is currently one of the biggest challenges faced by young South Africans. Entrepreneurship, therefore, is not an option: it is a necessity. It creates jobs and grows the economy. From an American perspective, it is the strongest tool we have to help South Africans combat economic inequalities and pervasive unemployment,” said Elizabeth McKay, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission.

She said the Embassy was proud to sponsor the initiative and added that she was looking forward to becoming a client of the participants someday after they start their business ventures!

 

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