The Awethu Project, a leading South African social enterprise that supports entrepreneurs, has officially launched its new App for entrepreneurs and those aspiring to run their own businesses one day. The App will be a “business coach in your pocket”, and enable young South African entrepreneurs to pursue the radical economic freedom that our country needs.
The App will help entrepreneurs who want to start a business, grow a business, make more money and improve their lives, but don’t have the skills and support they need. It will expand on Awethu’s already impressive track record: Since 2013 the company has incubated 2,100 micro-entrepreneurs, and its graduates are creating 1.5 jobs each on average. 75% of these entrepreneurs did not have a business prior to starting the incubation programme. In addition, an independent study has shown that businesses incubated in Awethu’s programme achieve an increase in average monthly profit of R3,000.
The App brings together everything Awethu has learned about incubating entrepreneurs: In addition to the training and business tools that the App provides, users will have the opportunity to network with other like-minded entrepreneurs, and to win a grand prize of up to R50,000. Prizes of R25,000 and R10,000 are also up for grabs. These prizes will reward business growth, innovation, and App usage.
Awethu CEO, Yusuf Randera-Rees says: “Over the last 4 years, 100,000 people applied to our incubator. We only had the resources to incubate the top 2,100, and those entrepreneurs have created over 2,500 jobs. Now, it’s time to replicate this success on a much larger scale. The App has been built to support informal, micro entrepreneurs. There are 2.5 million of these entrepreneurs in South Africa, and they are the lifeblood of black entrepreneurship – but they are also the most neglected entrepreneurial demographic. The App condenses the best aspects of our incubation model and puts them into the hands of anyone who wants the opportunity to start or grow their own business.”
With the free App, users will be able to keep track of their daily operations by inputting daily sales and expenses, and tracking their progress against their goals. The simple and entertaining in-App videos guide entrepreneurs to learn how to grow their business. Data to download the App will cost about R30, and monthly data costs for use should not be more than R3.