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Youth incubator programme makes dreams come true

Written by Maselaelo Seshotli
When Sechaba Ngwenya took a gap year after high school, his parents were not very pleased with his choice to stay at home, while his peers went on to study towards a tertiary qualification.

As fate would have it, Ngwenya applied for and got a job at ABSA bank as a teller. More good tidings followed, as the bank gave him an opportunity to study for a Bachelors Banking degree through the University of South Africa. This he completed diligently and successfully.

Over the next few years, Ngwenya moved between banks and investment firms as he climbed the ranks.

“When ABN AMRO closed offices in South Africa while I was working there as a credit analyst, I decided to move on to Event AMI, my first entrepreneurial venture.”

Today, Ngwenya is a successful businessman with a passion to develop new business ideas.

In 2012, he was part of the International Trade Programme Group in London where investors saw the potential of Event AMI and offered to buy it from him.

The International Trade Programme, which was spearheaded by the Micro Economic Development Organisation (MEDO), is a programme that provides, among others, ongoing shared services support to entrepreneurs through the Maselaelo Seshotli MEDO Youth Incubator.

Based in the Maboneng District in Johannesburg, the youth incubator programme is managed by MEDO and the Department of Trade and Industry and it facilitates and provides support and training to participating entrepreneurs.

After selling Event AMI, Ngwenya took a few months off to clear his mind and to think about his next business venture.

Armed with his unstoppable nature, he decided to start a new business called Creditable.

“Creditable is a software that allows anyone to lend money,” says Ngwenya. With his banking background, this young man knows all there is to know about the loaning process that often weighs customers unfairly.

“If more people have access to better capital, more people can start-up and create businesses. I am a firm believer that people and companies should form credit unions because only when you have money, can you make money,” says Ngwenya.

He joined MEDO for a reason different to other entrepreneurs.

“My friend had a crush on a girl at MEDO and made me sign up with him,” he says.

After signing up and seeing what MEDO was about, he decided to stay and remain incubated by the organisation.

“At MEDO, I learnt a lot - including how to read people. One needs to know who can and cannot provide you with business – whether it is through body language or the words coming out of their mouths,” Ngwenya explains.

Ngwenya’s plans over the next 10 years include handing over Creditable to a younger individual who is “smarter”.

“After that, my dream project will be to run the South African Reserve Bank and to create a super-bank for Africa,” he says.

Ngwenya believes that starting a business is the only way to effectively take people off the streets.