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Aspiring young entrepreneurs graduate from Innovator Trust Yep programme

Local incubation facilitator, the Innovator Trust, announced 39 graduates from their 2021 Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (Yep).

In an exclusive virtual graduation ceremony, the dynamic, driven and inspiring Class of 2021 who, almost 2 years, ago embarked on a journey of personal and professional self-discovery, took to the Innovator Trust virtual stage as they were officially announced as graduates from the 2021 Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (Yep).

Having completed the 1-year programme during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, these graduates were commended for their determination, resilience and perseverance. Despite the challenges brought on by the adverse circumstances under lockdown, which undoubtedly made learning difficult, these young individuals chose to remain committed and never gave up.

Launched in 2017, in partnership with Vodacom, Yep was initiated to lend a helping hand to unemployed South African youth, ushering young entrepreneurial minds on a guided tour of the modern business environment, developing skills necessary for the working world and exposing them to the opportunities that exist within the realm of tech entrepreneurship.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Programme gave beneficiaries an ideal and holistic tool-kit for the modern day, young entrepreneur to dig their roots deep and build a solid foundation for their businesses to develop. With presence in the Western Cape, Mpumalanga, the Free State and the Gauteng provinces, the programme provides mentorship, training and course materials covering subject matter areas such as coding, Microsoft skills, gaming, financial management and business model planning, marketing, self-awareness, workplace readiness, business communication, conflict management, and more.

Overall Top Achievers, Lehlohonolo Majawetsa (Free State), Kerwin Flint (Western Cape) and Billy Magagula (Gauteng) received special mention at the graduation, acknowledging their dedication and excellence in engagement throughout the programme and walking away with a prize package including a R2,000 Takealot voucher courtesy of the Innovator Trust as well as a brand new smartphone from Vodacom.

Aspiring young entrepreneurs graduate from Innovator Trust Yep programme

The top prize of the day was reserved for the Top Business Presentations from the cohort. Every year, three beneficiaries who have successfully worked on an innovative, impactful business plan and boldly pitched their entrepreneurial ambitions to a panel of industry experts, are selected for this special award, each of them receiving a prize package including a R5,000 cash injection towards their business venture courtesy of the Innovator Trust, as well as a tablet and smartphone from Vodacom. The YEP Top 3 Business Presentations were:
1st Place: Kaede Cupido (Western Cape)
2nd Place: Thandokazi Dyantyi (Western Cape)
3rd Place: Refentse Phiri (Free State)

Aspiring young entrepreneurs graduate from Innovator Trust Yep programme

In the words of Tashline Jooste, CEO of the Innovator Trust who delivered a rousing address to the graduates: “To simply be here today after the last two years is a victory. It is a victory over impending doom, failure and challenges, a victory over mediocrity, the comfort zone and complacency, and it is a victory over every bit of fear that’s ever stopped you from achieving your goals and getting where you want to be in life,” said Jooste.

Congratulations to each of our Yep Class of 2021!

Free State:

Bonolo Sebitsang
Elizabeth Dimakatso Liketso
Fundiswa Totola
Itumeleng Mokoloko
Jackson Molapisi
Keabetswe Mongana
Lebogang Mokoloko
Lehlohonolo Majawetsa
Nkagiseng Mponya
Olebogeng Poss
Pulane Phiane
Refentse Phiri

Gauteng & Mpumalanga:

Ben Magagula
Billy Magagula
Brightness Malatji
Francis Mmampa Rapakgadi
Gracca Khensani Mahomane
Harry Ramokgopa
Jerodine Modau
Kgopotso Mashaku
Lebogang Letsatsi
Matlhatsi Malebye
Martha Maupa
Miranda Mogale
Mmalerato Mokwena
Mogau Rudolph Matlala
Promise Methula

Western Cape:

Anele Mgaba
Cassidy Bennett
Kaede Cupido
Kerwin Flint
Matthew Davids
Nazneen Jacobs
Nokubonga Ngceba
Shikalepo Yekani
Siyavuya Ndleleni
Thandokazi Dyantyi

The Innovator Trust
The Innovator Trust was created to support the growth of small black-owned Information and Communications Technology (ICT) businesses in South Africa. Through our programmes, we support and nurture the growth of SMMEs by facilitating training that develops their skills as business owners, and providing necessary resources and mentorship, ensuring they become sustainable businesses contributing meaningfully to the ICT sector and the country's economy.

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