Vodacom Empowers Youth and SMMEs through Technology

(L) Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group, Takalani Netshitenzhe, (M) Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu.

In support of the Ministry of Small Business Development, this week, Vodacom hosted the first leg of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) 2017.

This leg of the conference was marked by the launch of a pitch-off competition that is aimed at creating a platform for start-up entrepreneurs to share business cases with a view to attracting investment.

The Global Entrepreneurship Congress is a gathering of entrepreneurs from countries around the world whose objective includes finding ways to support and help start-up companies to find new ventures. South Africa is hosting the event for the first time.

In her welcoming address to the Minister of Small Business Development (DSBD) and the delegates and pitchers, Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group reinstated Vodacom’s commitment to the empowerment of small businesses and people marginalised from participating in the mainstream economy.

Netshitenzhe said: “Vodacom embraces the theme of the conference – Digital Disruption. The theme is derived from the global trends to digitize small businesses and to digitise lives – this is what Vodacom stands for.”

On Vodacom’s commitment to the empowerment of small business, Netshitenzhe added that Vodacom supports the empowerment of small businesses through a number initiatives, programmes, and undertakings such as its supply chain management system whose policies have been aligned to the empowerment policies of the government.

“We are currently firming up our existing roadmap on the transformation of our distribution channels, and the process is handled with sensitivity within the existing legal frameworks.

“Vodacom has also launched an Innovator Trust, which was created with the main objective to empower small businesses in conjunction with renowned incubators.

“The incubators help with the implementation of empowerment programmes in order to help enhance the operational efficiency and effectiveness of these businesses,” she said.

Through the Vodacom Foundation which has invested over a billion rands in social upliftment in the past 18 years, Netshitenzhe said Vodacom has Youth Academies that provide Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills to youth in order to provide them with the basic competencies and skills to be eligible to participate in the digital economy.

“Besides our core business, we are also committed to doing what we can to stimulate skills development and job creation within the ICT sector.Through the ICT skills training, we are now able to fulfil this commitment and also play an active role in the creation of job opportunities for young people,” said Netshitenzhe.

“Through the ICT skills training, we are now able to fulfill this commitment and also play an active role in the creation of job opportunities for young people,” said Netshitenzhe.

To date, a total of 153 students across the country have been trained and following the training, the youth will be able to support the network of schools connected via the Vodacom Mobile Education programme as well as engage in reselling of Vodacom products and the developing of mobile applications or mobile apps.

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