YouthStartCT celebrates entrepreneurs

City Mayor Patricia de Lille congratulates #YouthStartCT winners Wendy Somlavi, Yandisa Langa and Darren Campher.

The City of Cape Town hosted its #YouthStartCT awards ceremony at the Civic Centre on Thursday June 15 and announced the winners of the competition which hopes to empower youth to become entrepreneurs.

The competition which started in March saw 200 entrants go head to head with their business idead, but only three winners were chosen. Yandisa Langa from Fish Hoek, who owns Langa Mountain Enterprise which grows organic vegetables took first place and walked away with R20 000, a laptop, printer and further business training support.

Darren Campher from Parow, who owns Random Design which a platform which supports local design, took the second place prize winning R20 000 along with prizes and Wendy Somlavi from Khayelitsha who owns Wheely in a wheelie, a recycling company which supplies a wheely bag to households to help them separate waste, took third place and R15 000.

The training they will receive include entrepreneurship training by Absa and seed capital to the value of about R65 000 and the winners will also be given targeted business support from Seda who will pay 90% of what the entrepreneurs will pursue.

The competition was described by City mayor Patricia de Lille as an accelerator programme for start-up entrepreneurs with the aim of contributing to skills development, innovation, and the development of entrepreneurship in the city.

“I place my hope for our future in our young people, and looking at the amazing businesses you are running grows my hope in our young people even more.

“Your ideas are forward-thinking, they are relevant, they speak to the challenges in our society, and they are solutions to help
us take Cape Town to the next level. This is why we initiated YouthStartCT and many other youth development programmes because I believe that we are not here to dictate to young people what they must do.We must listen to young people and use their ideas to make this great city even greater,”said Ms De Lille.

The contestants were put through various rounds, and had to pitch their business or business idea to a panel of judges who scored them according to the entrepreneur’s passion for what they’re doing, the market, and its impact.

The judging panel was made up of representatives from the Raymond Ackerman Academy at the UCT, the University of the Western Cape’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, Absa, the Small Enterprise Development Agency, and the City.

This is in line with our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan priorities to support and promote economic inclusion and to be a more proactive and customer-centric government, said the City.

Ms De Lille said that youth want opportunities to prove themselves and help uplift themselves, their families, and their communities and the City wants to help them realise these goals.

“We are investing in our young people and including them in our work of taking Cape Town to the next level. So we found a way to give their creative business ideas a platform.

“We also wanted to help them to help other young people ridding themselves from the shackles of unemployment and hopelessness,” said Ms de Lille.