Brand SA Play Your Part initiative ignites entrepreneurial spirit

Play Your Part, a Brand South Africa (Brand SA) initiative, is fighting the scourge of youth unemployment by empowering young people with entrepreneurial skills to kickstart their businesses.

The marketing agency wrapped up Youth Month at The Capital in Melrose on Thursday with an inaugural masterclass where aspiring entrepreneurs were selected to draw up a pitch and present their business idea to stand a chance of winning R25 000 in prizes.

The candidates were guided by a panel of esteemed judges, including members of the JSE and other influential small, medium, and micro enterprises’ executives.

Among them was Nomfundo Peter, who is a business adviser and consultant by profession. Peter is also the director of ARC Business Processing Outsourcing.

According to the brand, Ignite Masterclass is aimed at “finessing students’ approach to business – assisting them in forming their business ideas and in pitching them effectively”.

“The end goal of the campaign is to fuel entrepreneurial spirit in the country, providing students with the resources and confidence needed to consider starting a business,” said Brand SA on Thursday.

“South Africa’s economy is ultimately reliant on the business potential of our youth, so it is fitting that Play Your Part Ignite is launching during Youth Month. But it is also up to professionals and businesses to mentor and nurture our future leaders of the industry.

“Play Your Part Ignite aims to combat youth apathy by providing access to resources and a platform to interactively explore the essence of entrepreneurship. The format also allows students to engage with business people that they would ordinarily never cross paths with, and for business people to gain insight into the country’s talent,” shared Brand SA.

 

Shurldrae Rosen

Shurldrae Rosen, 34, who is the co-founder at Bubele Africa, an organisation that prides itself on cleanliness, was one of the entrepreneurs who walked away with a cash prize to fund his ideas.

Rosen pitched the idea of Bubele Africa with the hope of receiving guidance on how to secure sponsors to grow his organisation. He topped the class with his presentation and won R8 000 for his idea.

He was advised to explore the innovative and business side of his idea, which he presented as a non-profit organisation (NPO).

According to Rosen, Bubele, which was established in 2020 during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, focuses on cleaning rivers to promote cleanliness and good health. He said the organisation aims to empower the youth and “give them hope”.

“Bubele Africa began in 2020 when Wendy Malpage [co-founder] and I noticed a very trash-filled Sandspruit River in Sandton. Together we decided to reach out to the many unemployed people on the streets who lost their jobs due to Covid.

“We used our own personal funds to start the clean-up and also partnered with another NPO that previously did the same.”

He added: “Bubele Africa has also been active in helping with last year’s [2021] unrest [in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal]. Partnering with Rebuild SA to help clean and hand over food and other goods to those affected by the unrest in Joburg.

“[We] then travelled together with 947 radio presenter and entrepreneur Msizi James to Durban twice to help with handing over food and other goods to those effect by the looting and also [helped] a settlement that burned down, leaving many without anything.

“In September 2021, Bubele Africa took on an even bigger initiative which had many people wondering. But it takes crazy people to change the world.

“We tackled cleaning the Jukskei River and called on the people of Alexandra and around to help. The target was 1 000 volunteers and we successfully cleaned two parts of the river with over 800 volunteers.”

Rosen said his organisation is planning to venture into recycling to promote safety.

“A culture of recycling is one we hope to grow more and more so we can change and bring back the beauty and safety of South Africa.”

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