A new campaign that aims to inspire and discover the next wave of 1 000 technology and innovation entrepreneurs in SA will kick-start on 16 June, and continue through to 16 June next year. Dubbed the 1 000 Tech Entrepreneurs Campaign, the initiative is the brainchild of Lindani Mkhize, founder and CEO of Silicon Durbs.
South Africa suffers from high unemployment levels, especially among young people, and the situation is bound to get worse in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Statistics SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the fourth quarter of 2019 shows that of the 20.4 million young people aged 15 to 34, 40.1% (about eight million) were not in employment, education or training.
With this in mind, Mkhize has decided to make it his mission to help create and develop new technology businesses. He explains that the 1 000 Tech Entrepreneurs Campaign is a year-long initiative with the aim of getting more people to partake in the tech entrepreneurship journey. This, he believes, will result in new technology businesses being developed and grown at scale across SA, giving the country much-needed jobs, especially for young people.
“We are targeting South Africans who might have an interest in starting and growing new technology businesses but do not know where to start,” says Mkhize. “We also understand that primary beneficiaries of jobs that will be initiated by these businesses will be youth; hence we are launching the campaign in South African youth month.”
“We have invited different business leaders, entrepreneurs, NGOs and professionals − most of them have a significant amount of influence in their respective fields − to share their opinions on why people should take the technology entrepreneurship journey.
“We will then share their views on the campaign’s Web site and social media platforms as our means of sharing our message with the country and collecting data for individuals who are interested in taking the journey but need assistance to start.
“We hope to directly inspire 1 000 people to start 1 000 tech start-ups in one year from June 2020 to June 2021 as our impact on the campaign.” Explaining his motivation to start this initiative, Mkhize says as a tech entrepreneur and a tech start-up ecosystem builder, he was inspired to study how to help develop entrepreneurs in the country. “I realised we need to change our citizens’ mindsets if we want to compete in the global technology innovation stage; our people should move from waiting for the latest technology to use, to develop the latest technology the world should use.
“Yes, this sounds easy but is not. We need to first win people’s mindsets, grow them to be status quo challengers and problem-solvers. The fact that there is no one who is leading the masses to this direction has led me to start the campaign and that serves as a motivation for me. Even if I fail, someone will realise the vision, pick up the baton and run with it into South Africa’s technologically-driven future.”
Dr Nick Bradshaw, CEO at AI Media Group and curator of Africa’s largest 4IR trade show AI Expo Africa, stated, “Its great to see and be part of initiatives like this, we look forward to working with Lindani and making this a massive success. His Silicon Durbs initiative was a massive success putting Durban on the 4IR tech radar of many news followers and entrepreneurs and its inspiring to see how he is now devoting his time and energy to this new programme.”
The official online link to register for both partners and future tech entrepreneurs will be shared on launch day, says Mkhize. The launch can be followed virtually via this link,
(Credit – Main article first published on IT Web 12th June)
About Silicon Durbs
Silicon Durbs is a NPC that assists people to set up new tech start-ups by exposing them to information-packed with challenges from different industries that could be solved by technology innovation which then sparks new innovative ideas to them as new potential tech start-up founders. The organization assists in connecting businesses faced with challenges in their respective industries with founders who can and are willing to start tech start-ups that can solve their industry challenges and also connect businesses with tech startups who are already solving their industry challenges. Silicon Durbs is also shaping a tech ecosystem in Durban that connects all key stakeholders that play a role in the life circle of a tech startup which helps in growing the city to be more friendly and conducive for the start and growth of tech startups in the city of Durban. Website
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