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Young African Leaders – ALA 2016 Admissions Are Open!

African Leadership Academy (ALA) is calling for applications for 2016 admissions to the institution’s flagship Two Year Pre-University Programme.

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African Leadership Academy (ALA) is calling for applications for 2016 admissions to the institution’s flagship Two Year Pre-University Programme.

Young leaders aged 16 to 19 years from across Africa are invited to submit their applications to participate in a unique curriculum that includes courses in Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies, Writing & Rhetoric, and Cambridge A-Levels.

With a world-class faculty based in Johannesburg, South Africa and innovative teaching and learning methodologies, ALA offers a strong-student-centred learning environment that provides young leaders with the knowledge and inspiration they need to develop as effective, positive change-agents on the African continent.

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Based on annual applications, ALA identifies young leaders from across the continent with demonstrated leadership potential, a passion for Africa, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a track record of community service.

After their graduation from the two-year program, ALA continues to support these leaders with on-going leadership training, access to internships and careers; and importantly by connecting them to high-impact networks of people and capital that will empower them to create transformative change.

The window of this exceptional opportunity is narrow with only 125 places offered and applications closing by 15 December 2015.

Learners interested in applying can do so online, or download the necessary documentation at the African Leadership Programme.

Two Year Pre-University Programme Curriculum

The First Year: A Multidisciplinary Curriculum

All students study the core offering of English, Mathematics, Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies and Writing & Rhetoric.

In addition, they choose a combination of Cambridge-administered IGCSE, AS or A2 electives that can include courses from the Natural Sciences, the Humanities & Languages and Commerce. Courses are offered at a range of levels. There is also the choice of an online Computer Programming course.

The Second Year: Academic Focus Subjects

Students continue with English, Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies and Writing & Rhetoric. They also select a combination of higher-level courses from the IGSCE, AS or A-Levels that can include courses from the Natural Sciences, the Humanities & Languages and Commerce.

A continuation program for the online Computer Programming course is offered. Students who demonstrate sufficient capability are able to additionally pursue higher challenges through research in the Sciences, the Humanities or Creative Arts.

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ALA also offers expanded course options via the Global Online Academy (GOA) – a platform through which students from selected leading schools from around the world can cross enrol in courses led by faculty from each other’s schools.  ALA is the only African member of GOA.

Application Criteria

ALA seeks young African leaders aged 16 – 19 with:

  • Leadership Potential
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Commitment to Service
  • Passion for Africa
  • Academic Achievement.

How to Apply

Apply online, or download the necessary documentation at www.africanleadershipacademy.org/apply before 15 December 2015.

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Call For Application From Entrepreneurs In The Media Industry

Closing date for applications is 22 March 2019.

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Investec CSI’s Global Exposure Trips provide South African entrepreneurs from various sectors with global exposure. Applications are now open for entrepreneurs in the South African media industry.

Are you an entrepreneur between the ages of 21 and 40 who has been in the industry for more than two years? Do you want to get global exposure and best practice for your business?

You could be chosen to go on the next media industry themed trip to Bangalore, India from the 17-24th May 2019.

Closing date for applications is 22 March 2019.

Applications link:

https://www.investec.com/en_za/welcome-to-investec/corporate-responsibility/our-community/Entrepreneurship/satreps-global-exposure-programme.html

Every year Investec, in partnership with En-novate, sends a group of young entrepreneurs from various sectors to specifically selected countries in order to gain global exposure. Each itinerary provides them with opportunities to network and engage with venture capitalists, funders and captains of their specific industry. The aim is for them to gain learning and exposure to innovation, technology and process advancements. The programme also offers networking with subject and sector experts.

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Navigating The Tricky Path Towards BEE Compliance

All organs of state, public entities and any private enterprise that undertakes business with a public entity must implement the BEE codes.

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BEE On the National Agenda

Navigating complex BEE requirements to ensure compliancy can be a tricky process for many businesses. Since the implementation of BEE in 2003, there have been many high-profile cases of companies found to have faked their BEE credentials and many who have failed their verification audits for other reasons.

The unfortunate reality is that faked credentials is not a victimless crime. Any company awarded a government tender through the use of fake credentials is taking business away from another that has worked hard to achieve transformation through compliance.

The Government has been particularly verbal in highlighting the need for BEE compliance. At last year’s State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that “We [South Africa] will improve our capacity to support black professionals, deal decisively with companies that resist transformation and use competition policy to open markets up to new black entrants.”  Thus, all organs of state, public entities and any private enterprise that undertakes business with a public entity must implement the BEE codes.

Finding the Right Supplier For Your Business Needs

According to LFP Group CEO, Louis Pulzone as the demand for BEE suppliers grows, the market becomes more saturated with suppliers offering all sorts of prices and all sorts of offers. “The industry is attractive – particularly in our current economy. We’ve heard of a lot of devastating cases where clients look to low priced suppliers who cannot deliver on their promises due to a lack of infrastructure and resources. This ultimately leads to failed BEE verification audits and projects that never get off the ground”.

Your training providers must commit to providing a compliant service by meeting various pieces of legislation. This ensures a defensible service offering and ultimately, the desired BEE scorecard result.

When implementing skills development initiatives specifically, Louis says that there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Ask your supplier for provide you with factual proof of compliance – they are obligated to share this with you.
  • Ensure that your training provider complies with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Unemployment Insurance Act when it comes to caring for your learners.
  • Suppliers must act in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Equity Act when providing learnerships to disabled learners, all learners must be covered by COIDA and UIF provisions must be made.

The size of your business determines the required levels of BEE compliance. “The Codes provide for three levels of compliance based on the size of your business”:

  • Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs), which are businesses with an annual turnover of less than R10 million.
  • Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs), which are businesses with an annual turnover of between R10 to R50 million.
  • Medium to large enterprises (M&Ls), which are businesses with an annual turnover of more than R50 million.

BEE Shortcuts Lead to a Dead-End

Whilst some companies create fraudulent compliance certificates in order to avoid having to comply with the BEE codes, others simply altered the dates on their out-of-date legitimate BEE certificates to avoid the costs involved in having to renew a certificate. In one case, a billion Rand corporation reported their annual turnover to be less than R5 million in order to secure BEE exemption. Fraudulent practices like these have caused experts to estimate that ‘up to 5%’ of all BEE certificates are invalid.

The penalties for a business being found not BEE compliant are hefty. These penalties, enshrined in the Employment Equity Act, can be anywhere between R1.5 million and up to 10% of an employer’s annual turnover, depending on the nature and frequency of the non-compliance. Ultimately, if a business fails their annual BEE Compliance Audit due to substandard BEE suppliers, the large financial investment made in order to ensure compliance is lost.

LFP Makes BEE Hassle-Free

Louis explains that the LFP Group was born out of exactly this. “Our brand is built on credibility and a clear understanding of the industry”.

As an easy way to determine your businesses required level of BEE compliance in accordance with these Codes, LFP recently launched SA’s first free BEE Management Tool. “This user-friendly service allows you to analyse your company’s scorecard, calculate your current points and plan your company’s BEE requirements going forward” says Louis.

Contact LFP:

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State Of Entrepreneurship In South Africa: Local Start-ups Need Support To Succeed

During the discussion on the state of entrepreneurship in the country, it was stated that job creation remains a key challenge, along with a lack of skills development and insufficient support for entrepreneurs.

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Only 15% of South African start-ups are successful, despite South Africa having the 2nd highest ranking on the continent according to the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index.

The reasons for this disparity, along with the state of entrepreneurship in South Africa, were discussed at an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Forum held by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation last week.

On the panel were Kizito Okechukwu, from Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa, Venture Capital 4 Africa’s Thomas van Halen, and Dr Nontobeko Mabizela, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Head of Impact Assurance.

The Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Forum creates a platform for strategic engagement between role players involved in entrepreneurial development. The engagements aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, successes, and lessons learned, in pursuit of accelerating entrepreneurial development in South Africa.

Few start-ups translate into jobs

A report on the State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa, by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) found although entrepreneurial activity is increasing, South Africa still lags behind other countries.

Mabizela says: “It appears as though our efforts and successes in the area of entrepreneurship exceed that of our peers in many instances. However our entrepreneurs seem doomed to fail. Yes, we record an impressive number of start-ups, but few of these translate into sustainable jobs.”

Discussions highlighted how there are 340 organisations providing entrepreneurial support in the country, but the entrepreneurial participation rate is still 40% lower than in comparable countries. Added to this is the challenge of building businesses that create jobs as the South African unemployment rate poses as a great challenge with unemployment at 38.3%, and youth unemployment at 27.5%.

Support is the key to success

Support for young businesses is vital to their success, as most start-ups will only start breaking even after around 19 months, according to research form Venture Capital 4 Africa.

To address this shortage, the Foundation offers support to programme participants throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

While a strong academic record is one of the selection criteria for the Foundation, they search for more intangible qualities when identifying potential high impact responsible entrepreneurs.

Last year, research into the key mindsets of an entrepreneur, commissioned by the Foundation, showed that entrepreneurs have set dimensions that characterise them. These include entrepreneurial desire, focus, confidence, diligence, innovation, leadership, motives, resilience and self-control.

In 2017, the Foundation had 43 of its Fellows who are active entrepreneurs; successfully establish 48 businesses that created 679 meaningful jobs. These businesses had a combined value of over R1.4 billion. Today, this has grown to 62 Fellow businesses run by Fellow entrepreneurs, valued at R1.6bn.

At the Forum, Van Halen shared research carried out by the organisation which indicated that start-ups who received support had a 50% higher chance of creating jobs, and these created an average of 5.8 jobs. They were also likely to create 60% more revenue and three times more likely to secure investments.

“Never in South Africa has there been such a crying need for entrepreneurs who not only succeed, but who have the ability to positively impact and transform their community. However, at the same time, it’s clear that these people are not receiving the support that would allow this to become a reality,” Mabizela adds.

Developing entrepreneurship skills

Another key challenge facing entrepreneurship in South Africa is a lack of entrepreneurial skills both at formal and informal levels. To address this skills shortage, the Foundation runs three programmes, explains Mabizela.

Through its Scholarship Programme, the Foundation offers high school scholarships to learners who are in financial need; have a curious, entrepreneurial mindset; and are high academic achievers. Fellowship recipients, known as Allan Gray Candidate Fellows, receive funding for university studies as well as access to support and development to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. As a follow-on programme, the Association of Allan Gray Fellows is made up of Fellows who have completed the Fellowship Programme and have either pursued further studies, entered the world of work or started a business.

“Although entrepreneurship may well be an inherent skill, it can also be taught, provided the individual receives appropriate inputs, including opportunities for collaboration, personal mastery, networking and lifelong learning,” Mabizela says.

The panel indicated that research has shown a key driver in the likelihood of a start-up’s success is the experience of the entrepreneur. This experience can be difficult to obtain, as many larger corporations show an unwillingness to work with start-ups.

The private sector is not open to working with start-up businesses, Okechukwu explains, and instead often sees them as competitors. “The mindset needs to change. We need to see that the partnership between start-ups and corporates is the future and something corporates that needs to embrace.”

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