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Yes4Youth participants become WiFi Entrepreneurs

Written by Dale Hes

Ten Yes4Youth participants have become WiFi Entrepreneurs who will be better prepared for the digital future, thanks to their involvement with non-profit organisation Project Isizwe. 

Yes4Youth is a national government initiative that places unemployed young people in companies for a 12-month paid internship. 

Project Isizwe, an organisation which focuses on improving access to free and low-cost WiFi in South Africa, have taken on the ten youth entrepreneurs for a one-year paid internship to help develop digital skills which will help them boost their entrepreneurial skills and earn a sustainable income in the future. 

“We were approached by Yes4Youth and this provided us with an opportunity to expose youth to work experience in the technology field,” says Siobhan Thatcher, manager of the project. 

The youth are based in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape and play a crucial role in monitoring WiFi hotspots that Project Isizwe has helped to set up in these provinces. 

“They are deployed at our access points, monitoring whether things are running properly. They have been trained through mentorship and on-the-job training, and they have also been able to do online training courses where they can get certificates,” says Thatcher. 

The WiFi Entrepreneurs are also given a chance to earn an income by selling affordable internet vouchers to customers. They have an opportunity to earn up to 15 percent commission on sales. 

“This is where the entrepreneurial aspect is important. By giving these young people the chance to learn entrepreneurial skills, they can be better equipped to earn an income after the internship,” says Thatcher. 

Nwabisa Dondolo (25) is one of the WiFi Entrepreneurs, who is working in KwaZulu-Natal. She comes from a disadvantaged background, sharing a shack with her parents and siblings in Lamontville outside Durban. 

This initiative is giving her an opportunity to learn more about technology, while earning an income. 

“The field of technology is something which I am very interested in. This internship has given me so much knowledge about technology, especially WiFi. I will also be able to sell vouchers to people and make an income. I am very thankful for this opportunity given to me by Yes4Youth and Project Isizwe.”

Dondolo is studying to be an IT technician at the same time as doing her internship, as she hopes to get a career in IT one day. “There are a lot of job opportunities in IT. Being a WiFi Entrepreneur has given me some good work experience, and I hope that after my internship, I will be able to find a job in the field and help support my family.”  

If you’re a young person looking for work opportunities, then you can sign up for Yes4Youth at yes4youth.mobi.