Between 2009 and 2013, I worked at Rand Merchant Bank on their Class Of programme – rotating through various divisions to learn the workings of an investment bank. The Class Of mandate was to bring alternate and entrepreneurial thinking to the table and question the status quo. We were lucky to have access to the top brass, founders of RMB and their network, and would invite guest speakers to share their stories with us.
One of the most memorable of those was a breakfast with Yusuf Randera Rees. Harvard and Oxford alumni, Rhodes scholar and international working experience at Credit Suisse – destined for greatness, whether in his own business or any corporate he chose to work for. The most remarkable thing about Yusuf, though, is that he’s passionate about other entrepreneurs and their growing businesses, not for his commercial gain, but for South Africa to become a better place.
Awethu Projects incubates passionate social entrepreneurs, guides and grows them in ways that they can run their own commercial entities. The project started as a R60k start-up to now managing millions of Rands of investment and development spend.
Thanks to funding from the Jobs Fund, Awethu is offering a life-changing opportunity to entrepreneurs who have ambition and talent, but lack formal business skills: 250 scholarships, each worth R45K, to enter Awethu’s entrepreneurship training academy. At the end of the 6-month training programme, during which entrepreneurs are required to be running a business after month one, the top 10% of graduates will be eligible to receive an equity investment from Awethu’s investment fund of up to R250K (#Awe250K).
To get to know inspiring entrepreneurs who have already partnered with Awethu, visit awethuproject.co.za; facebook.com/AwethuProject or @AwethuProject. Hats off to Yusuf, his team, and the entrepreneurs with a burning passion to stimulate South African entrepreneurship.