The City of Cape Town’s annual youth entrepreneurial challenge is in full swing following the official launch event with everyone’s sights set on the top spot.


The heat is on for the contestants in the City’s annual #YouthStartCT entrepreneurial challenge.


Now in its fourth year, the challenge is designed for local entrepreneurs, aged between 18 and 35, who have existing businesses or ideas that could have the potential to create jobs while addressing socio-economic and environmental challenges.


‘This programme creates the platform for budding entrepreneurs and young people with existing businesses to take it to the next level. I want to encourage more young people to take charge of their futures and to become entrepreneurs and artisans. It’s important to mention that this programme will reach its final stage during Youth Month and will highlight the impressive innovation from our young people. Each year through this initiative the City actively supports entrepreneurs and helps them to create sustainable futures,’ said the City’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato.


This year, there were applications from 89 businesses representing 216 young people. After the shortlisting process 99 contestants were left standing, representing 52 businesses.


All of the competitors are aged between 23 and 35. Of the total businesses that have entered the challenge, just over a quarter are female-led.


With the entries closed and the shortlisting process having been completed, the official launch took place on Monday 27 May 2019. The contestants came face to face with the competition for the first time.


Over the weeks to follow, the group undergo a series of training sessions to help develop their ideas and to ensure sustainability.


There will also be a series of knockout rounds where contestants will have to pitch their business to a panel for an opportunity to make it to the next stage of the challenge.


Through the knockout rounds, the group will be whittled down to a Top 50, a Top 25, and a Top 10 and eventually a Top Three will be named.


‘We have secured amazing prizes for the competition this year, but apart from the cash, electronic devices and data on offer, the participants will also have access to mentoring and training opportunities long after the curtain has fallen on the competition. In many ways, these opportunities are worth far more because the advice and knowledge that will be imparted are priceless and could be the difference between a short-term outing or a sustainable business that could add value for many years to come,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.


#YouthStartCT 2019 concludes with a gala presentation on 25 June 2019.

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