Youth entrepreneurs often have more creative ideas and tend to be more open to risk. So says Denvor Phokaners, managing director at Enterprise Development Essentials (EDE) and the driving force behind the launch of the South African Youth Entrepreneur Network (SAYEN).
“Young entrepreneurs have fresh mindsets and lots of energy. These qualities are important for the economic development of South Africa,” he says, adding that a platform that caters specifically for youth entrepreneurs is important because it brings attention to their existence and gives them a unique space to connect with other like-minded youth entrepreneurs
A unique platform
SAYEN is a platform for youth entrepreneurs that gives them the opportunity to network, share ideas, comment and possibly find synergies and ways of working together.
Youth entrepreneurs’ role in the South African economy is unique in that they are often the pioneers of new innovations and opportunities. They can also be agents of change to spearhead transformation by creating innovative business cultures in their respective societies.
According to Phokaners, it is important that youth entrepreneurship is encouraged and supported by all South Africans, especially older entrepreneurs who can act as their mentors. “Our focus should be on supporting youth entrepreneurs and mentoring them so that they can make the most of their innovativeness, energy and positive spirits and so contribute positively to the economy,” he says.
The seed to launch SAYEN was planted while Phokaners was doing a workshop with the contestants of the SABC TV entrepreneur show Rise Mzansi. “I was blown away by the number of entrepreneurs under the age of 30,” he says. “I was also encouraged by how hungry they were for information and to learn how to run their businesses more effectively. I wanted to start a platform to help them learn from each other, network and to cast a spotlight on them.”
Entrepreneurs interested in the South African Youth Entrepreneur Network can visit the page on Facebook or post comments on twitter to @sayouthnetwork.