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Women and youth businesses are drivers of growth: GEC told Print E-mail
16 March 2017


Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Wednesday March 15 shone the spotlight on black businesses owned by women and the youth and on the significance of the township economy.

Premier Makhura was speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) being held at the Sandton Convention Centre throughout this week.

The congress, in its ninth-year, is being hosted by the City of Johannesburg and it’s the first time it is held on the African continent. More than 4 000 entrepreneurs, thought leaders, researchers and policymakers from 160 countries around the globe are gathering in Sandton to chart the way forward for the world’s start-ups under the theme: “Digital Disruption”.

Premier Makhura said the Gauteng Government wanted to create an inclusive economy and shared prosperity among its residents. “This conference allows us to learn from one another and it promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship.”

He said Africa had the world’s most entrepreneurially minded women and youth. “Africa is buzzing with dynamic small and medium enterprises that are providing income and livelihoods to millions of Africans.”

Premier Makhura said, however, that more needed to be done to ensure the sustainability of the continent’s SMMEs. He said in Gauteng priority would be given to small businesses owned by women and the youth because they were the key drivers of the economy.

“Black youth and women must be at the centre of economic development because we want township enterprises to thrive as part of our inclusive growth strategy,” said Makhura.

He said programmes such as Ekasi Labs were attracting a lot of attention from young people interested in starting their own businesses using technology.

“We need to open up more opportunities for township businesses. It’s important not just to invest in infrastructure. That infrastructure must be technology-savvy to enable the youth to be innovative in starting their own businesses.”

He said there was a lot that needed to be done to ensure that township entrepreneurs have a spec to work from and the necessary funding to get their businesses off the ground.

“As a government we’re looking to better the lives of the people in the townships and level the playing ground by supporting them in their business ventures,” said Premier Makhura. 

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Last Updated on 16 March 2017