Mulalo Nemataheni, Edwina Mlondobzi, Masego Mosiane (Front), Kganyago Phuti Sengwene, Tumiso Mathapo, Piet Rakabe and Patrick Mugumo

With small businesses being the backbone of the economy, South African youth need to play their part as the future leaders of industry in the country. The Play Your Part Ignite programme aims to help nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of South African youth.This August, the Ignite programme travelled to Limpopo to host an array of students from TVET Colleges in the region, many of whom are aspiring entrepreneurs, to assist them with the tools needed for their businesses and ideas to thrive. The programme intended to help the students fine tune their business ideas as well as give them the skills to pitch their ideas effectively.

Play Your Part Ignite in collaboration with the International Youth Foundation and Capricorn TVET Colleges, hosted the Ignite masterclass and pitching session at Meropa Casino and Hotel in Polokwane on Tuesday. The Ignite masterclass was presented by Patrick Mugumo, Director of Smart Royal Solutions, who told the students about his entrepreneurial journey, from humble beginnings of being a sweet merchant in his village to presently owning multiple profitable businesses.

With cash prizes to the value of R25 000, the students eagerly pitched their small business ideas to the Play Your Part Ignite judging panel. The panel included Patrick Mugumo, as well as Director of the Girls Matter Drive, Edwina Mlondobozi and Mulalo Nemataheni, CEO of Impowerx Advisory Services. Both Edwina and Mulalo were also recently onboarded as Play Your Part Ambassadors for the next upcoming year.

Tebogo Mogale, the Student Liaison Officer at Capricorn TVET College stated that “the session provided a unique opportunity for the students to learn how to pitch their business ideas and assisted the students with critical thinking and igniting their entrepreneurial ideas”. The winner of the pitching session, Busisiwe Chabalala, walked away with R8000 for her business idea and pitching style.

Dr Muthikhitha Thiofi, business mentor at Agricre, awarded 5 lucky students with a 3-month mentorship programme. The mentorship programme will be aimed at assisting the students with the tools to get their business planning, market research, financials, and production flow in order. Patrick Mugumo also awarded all the students in attendance with online course via Skillzbook with accreditation from Rims for certification to the value of R28 000.

The Play Your Part Ignite programme provides key guidance and business acumen that the students in the region might not necessarily have access to. The Ignite programme also serves as an interactive platform for South African youth to get excited about being a small business owner as well as the confidence to carry their business ideas into existence.

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