By Jonk WA Mashamba
SAMSUNG conducted a Mixed Talents Launching People Project, held on the 3rd of March at Level Three, Kramerville. The main purpose was to come up with solution to youth unemployment in South Africa.
According to Dr. Michelle Potgieter, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung South Africa, they went out and asked about issues that concerned youth. “Besides crime that was at everybody’s lips, the second most important thing was unemployment. This campaign aims at bringing mix talents together to find real solution to social problem within this country,” she said.
Potgieter assured the attendents, mostly dominated by youth that Samsung was ready to launch the solution that could potentially change the future of the country. “This is about empowering the young South Africans. Tonight is about the solution, and the solution is not about Samsung products” Two role players, also introduced as experts, Carol Koffman, Senior Manager at Deloitte &Touche and Jonathan Liebmann, Property Entrepreneur, were tasked by Samsung to come up with solution to the problem. They both embarked on the journey since October last year, with the quest to find the real solution to the problem. They both revealed that after conducting workshops, they discovered the only solution was through entrepreneurships.
“We were very impressed with the responses we got from young people who participated in these workshops. The solution had to be centered on what they need the most to become best entrepreneurs,’ said Liebmann, one of Forbes’ top 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 in 2012 and 2013, as well as Mail & Guardian’s top 200 young South Africans in 2010.
Koffman said having the right education at school and getting job experience before one tries to be an entrepreneur was a contributing factors to the success of the business idea.
On the video clip shown during the event, some of the unemployed youth with business ideas said:
“We need more mentorship to get someone to believe in my idea; it takes time and sometimes you end up giving up,” while another asked,“ who do we ask, who do we go to…we need companies that we can contact for help.” Ian Wright, co-founder of Metime, the company working with Samsung, said his company has built a system to help young entrepreneurs with ideas. “The system will allow the entrepreneur to register their detail and submit their ideas to Metime.Once the idea goes to the system, it would be seen by the panel of experts,”he said.
Out of 187 entries they received from the young entrepreneurs who submitted their ideas, three walked away with R50 000, each. For these young entrepreneurs to have been considered to get the R50 000, Potgieter said they had a criteria that they thought would be benefi cial. ‘‘Does the company have a substantial impact in the society? or it just a self-rich scheme? how big is the social impact? will it continue in months? will this money make signifi cant difference in taking this business idea to the next level?”. The young winners were Thule Ngcese, Gordon Keetse and Teboho Mahlobeyoane. Gordon and Teboho (25) are both from Alexandra. They said their company Sales Tractor, deals with mobile sales management applications for spaza shops.