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Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership Development

With millions of South Africans unemployed and underemployed, South Africa has no option but to give its full attention to the task of job creation, and generating sustainable and equitable growth. Small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) represent an important vehicle to address the challenges of job creation, economic growth and equity in our country.

Almost two decades since the dawn of democracy, South Africa has emerged as the most socio-economically unequal society in the world. Some argue that poverty; unemployment and inequality levels have reached a state of crisis, threatening the social and economic stability of one of Africa’s youngest democracies (Fakir, 2009).  In response to this triple challenge (i.e. Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality) the South African Government has recommitted to Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) as a critical tool to achieving sustainable economic growth, creating employment opportunities and alleviating poverty. The South African Government’s the New Growth Path (NGP) and the National Development Plan (NDP) have both identified the SMMEs sector as critical to the realization of South Africa’s vision 2030. The National Development Plan Vision 2030, South Africa blue print to development, sets out a target of creating 11 million jobs by 2030. Of these 11 million jobs, 90% is expected to come from SMMEs (National Planning Commission, 2012; New Growth Path, 2012; Ravjee, 2013).

Despite the long-standing government commitment and increased support for the sector, South African SMMEs haven’t come close to achieving the intended impact (Timm, 2012; FinScope, 2010). South Africa’s SMMEs continue to experience high mortality rate, failing to grow and create the expected employment opportunities

(World Economic Forum, 2011).

Thusanani Foundation aims to create a network of stakeholders that manages the flow of artisan and vocational skills from FET Colleges to Small Enterprise Development initiatives and to promote supplier development through facilitation of partnerships with FET Colleges, Government and the Private Sector. We further intend to develop South Africa’s future Pan-Africanist leadership.