Statement by Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer
The Municipality today hosted its first ever Entrepreneurs Expo for young people of the Greater Stellenbosch region. The Get Started Stellenbosch Entrepreneurs Expo aims to provide a platform where young people can get a look at the resources, services and support structures that are available to help them chase their economic dreams.
This expo comes shortly after the launch of the entrepreneurship hub that will be opened at the old Victoria Street Clinic in the heart of Stellenbosch. Local non-profit organisation, Ranyaka Community Transformation, has been awarded a ten year lease for the old Victoria Street Clinic by the Stellenbosch Municipality. In 2020, the historical clinic will be transformed into a unique space that will unlock opportunities for local entrepreneurs. “The Get Started Entrepreneurs Expo and the entrepreneurship hub being developed in the heart of Stellenbosch, shows our clear and unwavering commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and economic development in an inclusive and innovative way”, said Mayor van Deventer.
Hundreds of young people from our EPWP database, unemployed youth from all communities, school children and students attended the expo to witness first-hand the various exhibitions and presentations – providing them with high-level access to what they need to get started.
With our country going through tough economic times, unemployment at high levels and stagnant economic growth, we have to think outside of the box and explore how we, as a local government, can play in role in job creation and economic growth.
Stellenbosch Municipality has an unemployment rate of 11% (Source), well below the national average of 29%. We must however still work to improve on this by creating more opportunities for all residents. We believe that entrepreneurship and small business development go hand-in-hand and play a central role in job creation and economic growth. With the hosting of this expo, the municipality wanted to create an open platform for small businesses, entrepreneurs and young people with big ideas to see what services and opportunities are available to them. The expo further provided participants and attendees with a valuable networking opportunity to share ideas and solutions for overcoming challenges.
We thank our Local Economic Development Department for partnering with the following strategic stakeholders to make this unique expo a big success:
• The Department of Labour
• The Department Trade and Industry
• The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism
• The Stellenbosch Launch Lab
• Visit Stellenbosch
• The National Youth Development Agency
• Cape Winelands District Municipality
• Boland College
• Stellenbosch Academy
• Elsenburg Agricultural College
• Capitec Bank
• Standard Bank
• Mido Technologies
Stuart Grobbelaar T: 021 808 8172 | C: 084 036 1395
Mart-Marié Haasbroek T: 021 808 8024 | C: 072 910 3724