The “I am an entrepreneur” business summit was in East London for its fourth session over the weekend, connecting over a hundred young entrepreneurs.
The mass-mentorship initiative is the brainchild of media entrepreneur Andile Khumalo, co-owner of MSG holdings. MSG now own Power FM , Capricorn FM and the up-coming Eastern Cape Rhythm FM.
Khumalo said the initiative to date had brought some of the notable business people in the country face-to-face with emerging entrepreneurs.
“This allows young people in business to hear stories of people that have [made] the journey, and get to ask all the questions they need answered. We are in the fourth year running, and we are seeing an increase in the crowds, with some regular faces.”
This year in East London the session brought businesswoman Judy Dlamini, the chairwoman of Mbekani Investment Holdings Limited and Aspen Pharmacare Limited.
The medical doctor-turned-businesswoman spent an hour sharing her journey in the business space, encouraging emerging entrepreneurs to be ready to take charge of the business environment.
Dlamini, an MBA graduate, emphasised the importance of obtaining some form of education for the foundation of any career.
“Education is fundamental in any career, even in business, because some opportunities are presented to you because one is trained in a specific field.
“Although our generation had a challenge of being marginalised when the economy finally made space for black participation, we were ready, educated and ready to occupy the space,” said Dlamini.
The “ I am entrepreneur” initiative has attracted as partners some of the biggest corporate companies and entities in the country, including Renault South Africa, MTN and Brand South Africa.
Relationship consultant at Brand South Africa, Anele Ngwenya said Brand South Africa became involved with the initiative to encourage more young people to become job-creators .
“The country is facing a few challenges which can easily create a lack of interest in people to start up business, and to continue businesses in South Africa. Initiatives like these communicate the good that [arises from running businesses],” said Ngwenya.
Dlamini touched on the political climate of the country, which has created economic challenges.
“There is a lot of noise about our country outside the country. There is also a lot of noise within our borders; it can make us forget the good things that we have going, our successes, and not to even see the opportunities.” — firstname.lastname@example.org