Starting a business can be overwhelming, but thanks to a government programme, young people can learn from successful entrepreneurs.
If you are a young person who is running a start-up business and you need guidance to become a successful entrepreneur, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) can help find a mentor to guide you.
Sandile Mazibuko (29) of Midrand, in Gauteng wants to become a successful poultry producer.
He established his business in 2020, but could not secure funding from the NYDA because he did not have a business plan, which is a requirement. He also struggled with financial management.
Mazibuko heard about the NYDA’s Volunteer Enterprise Mentorship Programme and applied so that he could get the guidance he needed to establish his business.
The Volunteer Enterprise Mentorship Programme aims to connect young people who own small businesses with experienced entrepreneurs who can give them advice and the skills needed to run a successful business.
His appointed mentor is helping him develop a business plan and work on his short and long-term business goals. One of these is to create jobs for others through the business.
“I also manage the business finances better now, compared with when I started, because my mentor holds me accountable. I will soon apply for funding from the NYDA,” he says.
Mwendabai Kalaluka (43) volunteered his time and skills as a mentor to empower struggling start-up businesses.
He is the founder and managing partner of Intellogic Africa Business Consulting, which specialises in offering business development and management services to small businesses.
“I joined the NYDA mentorship programme in 2016 and I have been running workshops for youth-owned businesses. Our business has offered mentorships to about 40 individual companies through the NYDA, and has also conducted group workshops over the years,” he says.
He believes the mentorship programme is beneficial to small businesses, because they gain the expertise and skills needed to run a business. These include human resource management, financial management and legal knowledge.
How does it work?
Once a mentor and mentee are matched, they sign an agreement with the NYDA that clarifies the terms and conditions of their relationship, and what should be achieved.
“There are no specific timeframes, but the mentor and mentee have to meet and communicate regularly so that they can work on the skills the mentee needs for his/her business to improve,” says Kalaluka.
Why volunteer mentoring?
The mentorship programme allows young business owners to get advice and support from business experts.
The NYDA says this programme also encourages successful entrepreneurs to contribute to economic growth in the communities in which they operate, by teaching them how to use business networks to improve their business offering and to create jobs.
It motivates business owners to establish relationships and support each other’s businesses by exchanging services through networking.
Become a mentor or a mentee
To become part of the programme as either a mentor or mentee, you need to submit an application form, accompanied by your CV, so that you can be vetted. The application form and supporting documents should be submitted to your nearest NYDA branch.
The forms can be downloaded from the NYDA website: http://www.nyda.gov.za/Products-Services/-Mentorship For more information, contact the NYDA on 0800 52 52 52 or visit www.nyda.gov.za