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Entrepreneurship – If you cant find a job make one!
The goal of education today…should not be to make every child ‘college ready’ but ‘innovation ready’ — ready to add value to whatever they do.”

Universities set us up to become employable, the option to become self employed has never really been there, till now, and not because it’s given to us, yet driven by necessity and the creativity that prospers as a result.

The job markets are tough, but as university graduates we have the intellectual capacity to attain great things and should not be limited by our fear of failure. At this age we have nothing to lose, no real commitments and with perseverance, time and access to people we have the scope to achieve greatly. Most students/graduates just don’t know where to start, a good starting point however, is to surround yourself around people who are like minded and like yourself want to do something different”

Teachers and higher education institutions need to focus on developing innovative and critical thinking skills and instill a desire for continuous learning if we want to create more employment.
While passing on knowledge will always be central to the function of educational institutions, today young people need more than facts to obtain employment. “They will need to reinvent, re-engineer and reimagine” their jobs.

There are no longer ‘high-wage middle-skilled jobs.’ This has caused an imbalance in the employment sector, and has contributed to high unemployment rates. These jobs have been replaced by high wage high-skilled jobs .

Generic middle class jobs which were the bedrock of the industrial age are simply not available anymore, because these jobs “either require more skill or can be done by more people around the world or are being buried”.

We at the Graduate believe that the idea of ‘finding’ a job is outdated and says the solution lies in helping young people invent a job. “Which is why the goal of education today…should not be to make every child ‘college ready’ but ‘innovation ready’ — ready to add value to whatever they do.”
A Degree or no Degree?
Many successful entrepreneurs through the ages have not had a university degree. Sir Richard Branson began by selling records. In the boot of his car. Many still believe, entrepreneurs are born, not made. Three years at university is seen as a “waste of time” by many.
However, the world has moved on since Sir Richard Branson started selling music records out of his car. Some of the most successful global businesses have been started by graduates: Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg, Harvard); YouTube (Steve Chen, Illinois); and Amazon (Jeff Bezos, Princeton) to name but a few. An increasing number of graduates are looking to start their own businesses, armed with the specialist knowledge, problem-solving skills and ability to think laterally that they developed on their university courses. What they need is an insight into the world of balance sheets, marketing, product development and business plans.
Over the past decade, universities have been rising to this challenge, offering postgraduate qualifications in entrepreneurship to new graduates and those already working in business or running their own startups.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to support the implementation of Y-Age
The National Youth Development Agency has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the South African Centre for Organisational Development (SACORD), an entity representing the Youth and Graduate Entrepreneurship (Y-Age) Programme. The two parties will implement activities that will contribute towards reaching Y-AGE’s target of building 125 000 entrepreneurs by end of 2014.
Aims of the partnership include to:
• facilitate enterprise development and funding support for qualifying youth enterprises
• undertake a campaign to mobilise stakeholder awareness and collaborations on issues of youth entrepreneurship
• create capacity necessary to support the Y-AGE delivery model
• contribute to government efforts to create jobs
• improve South Africa’s Total Entrepreneurship Activity (TEA) by encouraging entrepreneurship amongst young people in schools, FET colleges, universities and communities
• facilitate access to markets for youth and Y-AGE participants in particular

These objectives will be achieved through various initiatives including the NYDA Y-AGE Fund, the Y-AGE School Outreach, a Voucher System to support business plan development and review, access to markets through the Business Opportunity Support Services (BOSS) and the Business Mentorship Programme.

“Vigorous entrepreneurial activity and innovation is needed to alleviate South Africa’s high unemployment levels. Through this partnership we will continue to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship among young people and ensure that youth development continues to thrive,” says Steven Ngubeni, NYDA CEO.

According to Seomanele Mashishi, the Executive Chairperson of SACORD, Y-AGE was established as a result of acknowledging the enormity of the unemployment challenge and the need to take action. “Instead of blaming government it’s time that we each take it upon ourselves to do something. By working with the NYDA we are confident that we can make a difference,” he concludes.

For more information on opportunities please visit


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