Primestars thinks tech for Step Up.
On 15 September hundreds of high school learners from Charlotte Maxeke Seconday School, David Makhubo Secondary School, The Innovation Hub and Afrika Tikkun arrived at Sandton City Ster Kinekor waiting to be addressed at the 5th installment of the Primestars Step Up 2 A Start Up cinema experience by Primestars MD, Mr Martin Sweet, Dr More Chakane, CEO of Sci-Bono Discovery Centre (on behalf of MEC Panyaza Lesufi), Bulelani Balabala and the Step Up 2 A Start Up beneficiary Nicolas Hlongwane.
The Step Up 2 A Start Up programme has continued to teach vital lessons in entrepreneurship to thousands of South African learners through edutainment. Each year the programme focuses on global trends in entrepreneurship, seeking to inspire participants to explore these in the context of their surroundings – looking for business solutions to real problems in their communities.
The programme has reached nearly 65,000 learners nationwide and the theme selected for 2018 was “Think Tech. Do Business.” With the Fourth Industrial Revolution in full swing, technology-based businesses will provide solutions to many of these problems, creating unprecedented opportunities on which the youth can capitalize. As such, the theme “Think Tech. Do Business.”, encourages learners to embrace technology as a platform for small business creation.
The programme featured a film titled, Ikusasa Lethu (Our Future), a story of a young lady who discovers technology, creates a business, adapts her business as she learns what works and, as an end result, changes her future and the future of her community.
The cast of the film and executives from the sponsoring corporates including Standard Bank, Sasol, MTN and Seda were present on the day to show their support of the Step Up 2 A Start Up programme.
“Standard Bank is committed to entrepreneurship and we promote it amongst the Youth through exposing them to relevant financial skills that can turn their ‘hustle’ to commercial value and get them closer to their Next. The partnership with Step Up 2 A Start Up and Primestars complements the current Standard Bank ‘My Fearless Next’ campaign and our long-standing support of small businesses” said Thulani Sibeko, Chief Marketing Officer.
“Sasol has once again come on-board as a national sponsor of the annual Step Up 2 A Start-Up initiative, aimed at providing secondary school learners with the right tools to become entrepreneurs. Sasol is supporting the programme for the fifth consecutive year. The theme for this year’s Step Up 2 A Start-Up is “Think Tech. Do Business”. High school learners will be challenged to come up with innovative ideas that speak to the theme and also recognize the era that we are in, which is that of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” said Abey Tau, Corporate Affairs, Sasol Social Investment.
“Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is a proud partner of the Step Up 2 A Start Up initiative. Our involvement is based on a firm belief that this programme nurtures a culture of entrepreneurship among school learners from townships and rural areas. The programme is exposing them early to entrepreneurship attributes required to successfully venture into business. School learners also get a chance to start small enterprises and get to be exposed earlier to available support from Seda and other institutions. We are mindful that these businesses will also face risks, some will fail, some will succeed and certainly, all learners that pass through this programme will remain potential and intentional entrepreneurs. The lean methodology approach which is followed is an extremely practical, effective and fun for learners”- CEO of Seda Ms Mandisa Tshikwatamba.
“We are always happy to support initiatives that assist in creating sustainable enterprises that contribute to community upliftment and job creation. We also believe that this begins with our youth as our business leaders of the future. We are encouraged that our support of the Step Up 2 A Start Up programme will help to unearth some amazingly talented young innovators, who will go on to build sustainable businesses and industries in line with our national aspirations of creating home grown industrialists,” says Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager, MTN SA Foundation.
Grade 9-11 learners began their journey into the world of tech entrepreneurship at Ster Kinekor cinemas nationwide on 18 August. Learners received a Toolkit which reinforced the lessons communicated throughout the movie. The aim of the toolkit is to assist learners in implementing the skills learned to develop their own business ideas and model canvasses and enter the Step Up 2 A Start Up Tech Entrepreneurship Competition. The competition will see 9 finalist teams get placed through an intensive bootcamp to streamline their business ideas concluding in a prestigious awards event.
Primestars believes that given the right assistance from passionate individuals and organisations, our youth will be able to create and develop new businesses which, in turn, will have a positive impact on the economy and reduce the rate of youth unemployment in South Africa. We need to help our young people realise that there are infinite possibilities available to them.