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SA tech entrepreneurs encouraged to develop African ‘unicorn’

Read time 2min 30sec

Since its debut on this year’s Youth Day, the 1 000 Tech Entrepreneurs Campaign has already attracted aspiring entrepreneurs as well as key partners.

This is according to Lindani Mkhize, founder and CEO of Silicon Durbs, and the person leading this initiative.

The 1 000 Tech Entrepreneurs Campaign is a year-long initiative, with the aim of getting more people to partake in the tech entrepreneurship journey in SA.

Mkhize tells ITWeb that some 30-plus aspiring tech entrepreneurs have already joined the campaign; 50% from KwaZulu-Natal, 30% from Gauteng, 10% from the Western Cape and North West, respectively.

In terms of partnerships, he says several organisations have come on board, including the AI Media Group, Moses Kotane Institute, Ethekwini Municipality, Setup A Startup, Vantage Lab, Biz Farm Business and Silicon Durbs.

“In the past few months, we have met with different stakeholders who are playing a pivotal role in development of entrepreneurs in South Africa. This includes corporate leaders, incubator/accelerator leaders, entrepreneurs, professionals, ecosystem players, ecosystem leaders and more,” he states.

“We have managed to get partners to commit resources, such as free Internet and free incubation to some parts of the country, Amazon Web Service cloud vouchers to cover technical costs, access engineers, mentors, access to the Google entrepreneurial skills programme, free venture development, business experts, access to international markets and many more.

“We are also in talks with more partners whom we will announce within the next couple of weeks.”

According to Mkhize, the technology entrepreneurship campaign aims to inspire and assist the next 1 000 entrepreneurs, as well as be a foundation for collaboration, to create a technology entrepreneurship-driven country.

“The fourth industrial revolution has proven to us that technology is the key driver of all things future; the rate at which new innovations are developed each day is alarming. In countries like China, the discussion is already on the fifth and sixth industry revolution.

“Most countries are setting up for the digitally-driven economy of the future by developing programmes and initiatives that will educate, inspire and encourage the masses to be more involved in technology entrepreneurship.

“It is clear now that any country which wants to gain relevance in the future and a share to the fast-developing world digital economy, it must have an army of people who are developing new technology-innovative businesses at scale.

“To all aspiring entrepreneurs out there, technology does not create itself. Any technology revolution that was witnessed in the past and the ones that are coming in future will be initiated by humans. We want to partner with you and assist you to develop the next African unicorn.”

Entrepreneurs, sponsors and partners looking to join the campaign can click here.

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