The Atvance Academy Khayelitsha Campus’s first youth entrepreneurship expo held last week was hailed as a huge success .
The expo showcased small businesses run by 30 of the academy’s students. Atvance Academy offers a 12-month fully sponsored course in Business Administration.
Speaking at the expo, Atvance Academy head of training and development, Phumeza Jack, said she was thrilled with the input from speakers who addressed and advised the students.
“We were able to show our learners ways of doing business and marketing their product. We could see they were encouraged by the speakers and absorbed a lot of entrepreneurial ideas,“ said Ms Jack.
Meanwhile Atvance Academy group chief executive officer Johan Engelbrecht said the Covid pandemic had exacerbated the critical unemployment crisis in South Africa, but even more so among the youth.
“Prior to the pandemic, the unemployment rate (including people who had given up looking for work) was just under 70% for people aged 15 to 24. A year later, the rate had increased to 74%,” he said, citing StatsSA figures.
“The reality is that the youth do not have the means or the skills to better their lives, without significant assistance from the private sector,” he said.
“What we offer is that link between business and employees. Our corporate sponsors enable us to train potential employees, who may not have advanced much beyond Grade 10, at no cost to the students.
“We provide training to around 30 000 South African learners every month, in over 250 campuses across the country through key courses that are immediately of use to employers.”