ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
10 March 2017
 
For Immediate Release
 
Driving Economic Growth Through Youth Innovation Challenge
 
To ensure radical economic transformation, eThekwini Municipality continues to equip youngsters with essential skills to help them come up with innovative business ideas through programmes such as the Youth Innovation Challenge.
 
The third annual instalment of the Youth Innovation Challenge, was launched yesterday, 9 March at the Protea Edward Hotel.
 
The Challenge, which has in the past provided some solutions to address unemployment in the City, will commence from 16 March to 20 July.
 
This year’s Challenge, themed “Creating a Smart and Sustainable City”, which challenges the entrants to explore innovative ways of solving challenges in the urban and built environment, was officially opened by Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer.
 
Councillor Peer said the aim of the programme is to encourage youngsters to be ambitious and to think out of the box, by exploring possibilities that will allow them to develop innovative solutions to some of the City’s greatest challenges.
 
“This programme instils the culture of entrepreneurship which translates to many job opportunities in order to speedily turnaround the City’s economic status. Innovation and entrepreneurship is a primary pillar in ensuring radical economic transformation,” she added.
 
Councillor Peer said she was very happy to hear the testimonials of past participants who are running fully-fledged businesses that have created employment opportunities for others and urged youngsters to make use of this opportunity.
 
Acting Programme Manager Aurelia Albert outlined key aspects of the programme which has new features and said entrants would get invaluable coaching as part of the package.
 
She said this year’s challenge will comprise of enterPRIZE which aims to provide support to entrants with innovative business ideas. While the newly added component “Africa Design Challenge” driven by Aurecon and Oracle will equip participants with skills to develop integrated solutions in response to City challenges.
 
Furthermore, Albert said, the challenge introduced “Crowd funding platform” spearheaded by Thundafund and Nedbank aimed at assisting the winner of enterPRIZE to raise funds for their businesses.
 
“Nedbank committed in matching the funds raised by entrepreneurs on the platform and Thundafund will upload business videos of the winners on their platform to attract funding,” she added.
 
Albert added that the challenge will wrap up with a two-day Innovation Summit and Awards ceremony on 19 to 20 July with a line-up of prominent and established entrepreneurs to share insights and ideas to grow innovation in the region.
 
To continue nurturing the talent, Albert said they have intensified the “Aftercare Programme” this year which includes intensive mentoring, incubation, training and workshops, access to citizen labs and partner organisation as well as funding opportunities.
 
Registration for enterPRIZE Challenge open from 16 March to 16 April and the Africa Design Challenge will commence from 1 April to 30 April.
 
For applications, please visit: http://www.sedfafrica.co.za/enterPRIZE
 
ENDS
 
Issued by eThekwini Municipality.
 
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