By Alex Gelletich
It was such an honor to be asked to be a judge at the Bankseta Risepreneur Trade Fair, held at the Southern African Wildlife College on Tuesday the 27th of September 2022.
I was astounded by the pure determination, courage and effort each one of the young participants committed to the day. Thirty past interns were selected following the FirstJob Partner Programme internship, in which South African youth are given a working opportunity within a host organisation. These thirty interns have been further equipped with essential business skills to manage and run a business, successfully. The class was split into three groups of ten interns and the College was delighted to host one of the groups. In which ten young Risepreneurs could display their business and skills.
This is yet another way that the FirstJob Programme & Bankseta Risepreneur are outdoing themselves, in helping to uplift and upskill young entrepreneurs who have shown their will and fortitude to make it in the business world.
It was incredibly hard to judge from the produce, supplies and services being showcased on this day. But one young man really stood out for me. A young farmer by the name of Thabang Mokoena who started farming on half a hectare of land and is now successfully farming 4 hectares of land and is about to start planting on his fifth hectare. What really shone out for me, was his passion for farming, and the display of his knowledge on the varieties of vegetables he was growing, explaining to us the health benefits of each one.
A large component of the programme is to ensure that these young peoples’ businesses support community development and this was well displayed on the day, with each participant explaining how jobs will be created and their communities will be uplifted through their various business.
Well done to all those who participated and to the winners of the awards presented at the end of the Trade Fair. The winners were:
1st place: Dephney Ndlovu – Baking and Catering business – Most creative exhibition
2nd place: Justine Maluleke – Poultry farming business – Best sales pitch
3rd place: Thabang Mokoena – Agriculture farming business – Most innovative business solutions