Y-BECA Youth Entrepreneurship Foundation South Africa has launched its Youth Entrepreneurship Programme at OPEN, a co-working space in Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg, on Saturday 7 January 2017. The Y-BECA Youth Entrepreneurship is a free 12-week innovation and entrepreneurship programme and its beneficiaries are unemployed university graduates, university dropouts and high school dropouts, aged between 18 and 27 years.
Among the speakers that graced the occasion were businessman Jabu Stone, founder and owner of Jabu Stone Hair Products, and Lebo Mbethe, owner of Advent Oil. Stone and Mbethe encouraged a group of young Y-BECA entrepreneurs that attended the launch to never embrace rejection and relentlessly pursue their business ideas.
The Y-BECA 12-week innovation and entrepreneurship programme was created by entrepreneurs and business professionals within the Foundation’s network, as well as an entrepreneurship academic at the Amsterdam Business School, University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands.
“Our programme combines in-depth practical knowledge of real life entrepreneurs and business professionals with the academic best practices within entrepreneurship education. This is all thanks to our carefully selected Advisory and Board of Directors, who each bring their own experience into the overall design of the programme,” says Boi Kgathi Rasmussen, its Founder and CEO of Y-BECA.
The initiative is inter-country and runs in Johannesburg, South Africa and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. During the programme, which will initially run two quarters per year, 30 students per quarter (60 in total in the first year) are selected and grouped into teams of three (3), making it 10 teams per quarter. Each team must create a tested and validated business, culminating in a minimum viable product (MVP).
CEO and Founder, Boi Kgathi Rasmussen, commented; “The businesses the students develop must solve real problems, display great potential to succeed in the marketplace, and be ready to be launched at the end of the programme. Our students will test and validate the problems they identify and the solutions they come up with – and they have to do this with real potential customers/users. We are very excited about the prospects of this project.”
The inter-country aspect sets this initiative apart from any other. During the programme, Y-BECA students will:
- Be co-mentored by mentors in both South Africa and The Netherlands, giving our students international exposure;
- Enjoy intercountry youth start-up knowledge exchange through Webinars between Y-BECA students and students of the Entrepreneurship Minor at the Amsterdam Business School; and,
- Take inspirational curated trips to learn from start-ups and entrepreneurs in The Netherlands. Dr Bram Kuijken, assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam, commented: “We are very excited to have cross learnings between the students of the Amsterdam Business School’s Minor Entrepreneurship and Y-BECA students. The inter-country collaboration works both ways and will provide inspiration and new learnings for all parties.”
Boi Kgathi Rasmussen was born and bred in Botswana and now lives in The Netherlands. She said the organisations plans to open more Y-BECA inter-country Youth Entrepreneurship Foundations across the African continent.