Training young people to become IT entrepreneurs

April 22nd, 2015, Published in Articles: EngineerIT


With the advent of the internet and the rapid rate of technological advances, ICT skills have become a crucial component in building any business. To help young entrepreneurs to meet the challenge MTN Business has embarked on a long-term supplier development programme that will empower young, black entrepreneurs to take their place at the forefront of South Africa’s evolution to a knowledge-based economy.

“Our programme is aligned with the National Development Plan’s goals of addressing poverty alleviation and real empowerment by creating a new class of young, black entrepreneurs. As a leader in the technology sector we’re in a prime position to leverage our technical expertise and national footprint to develop skills and small enterprises that have the potential to grow into larger, sustainable businesses,” said Alpheus Mangale, chief enterprise officer at MTN Business

MTN Business has partnered with New Generation Mindset (NGM), a training and skills development provider that specialises in SMME development and mentorship in the ICT sector. The supplier development programme has been designed as a three-year intervention that will see 60 small ICT businesses developed through a six-stage programme that will take them from the start-up phase to fully self-sufficient status.

“We expect the biggest impact to be from them enabling SMEs in rural and township areas to access services that contribute to their competitiveness. Many of these businesses fall outside of the fold of traditional ICT service providers and we believe that this new generation of ICT entrepreneurs will find a ready market to grow their businesses,” said Mangale.

The development programme is open to black youth-owned enterprises in the ICT services sector, ideally but not restricted to those who have been in business for between twelve and 24 months. Some level of post-school training and qualification will be required to qualify.

The successful applicants will then undertake the three-year programme at NGM’s incubators located around the country. Entrepreneurs who already have their own premises will continue to operate out of their facilities, but will be required to attend training sessions at NGM centres.

NGM will provide basic business support services to incubated companies while simultaneously developing the entrepreneurs’ business management skills in all aspects of operating a business. For its part, MTN Business will draw on its technical training partner to pass on these skills.

According to Mangale, the first 18 months of the programme will be dedicated to building these technical and business skills, after which the businesses should be in a position to broaden their scope to include ancillary services and products from other equipment and service providers. This enhancement of their service is essential to their long-term survival.

“We believe that this crop of young entrepreneurs can make an invaluable contribution to making hundreds of small businesses around the country more efficient and competitive.”

More information on the programme and application forms can be found at

Contact Bridget Bhengu, MTN SA, Tel 011 912-3074,

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