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The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos, recently gave keynote speeches at two occasions aimed at celebrating and uplifting small businesses and entrepreneurs: the opening of the first ever Global Start-Up Awards Africa Summit, and the launch of the second phase of the City’s Business Mentorship Programme in partnership with Rotary International. Read more below:

The Global Start-Up Awards Africa Summit, which is taking place at the Cape Town Convention Centre, brings together investors, thought-leaders and decision-makers from over 100 countries for discussions, the exchange of ideas, and networking opportunities.

‘Through our platforms and transparent and supportive governance, the City has created a location that enables and emboldens innovation and business development. This is why Cape Town is home to nearly 60% of South Africa’s start-ups and 450 tech firms,’ said Alderman Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth.

The summit concludes with the awards, which recognises the continent’s top women in tech, accelerators and co-working spaces, among other categories.

The Global Start-up event was followed by the Business Mentorship Programme launch. Implemented through the City’s Business Hub in collaboration with Rotary International, the project is matching 20 City-registered vendors with seasoned business leaders who will mentor their apprentices over the course of 10 months. Over the course duration, the mentors will assess the entrepreneurs’ business practices, strengths and weaknesses, and help them to hone their products and services.

Speaking at the project launch, Alderman Vos said it was critical to support the growth of South Africa’s small businesses for the benefit of economic growth and job creation.

‘You are the engine room of innovation and opportunities,’ he said to the young entrepreneurs.

One of these entrepreneurs, Khanyiso Bell of KBell Developers, said he hoped the mentorship would help him to get a fresh start.

‘I think it will help me to get a sense of direction because when you’re in business, it can often feel like you’re all by yourself, like you’re alone and there’s no one really that can assist you. So it means a lot to be part of this programme,’ said Mr Bell.

Alderman Vos highlighted that there were a number of programmes and platforms run by the City in support of businesses.

‘The City works relentlessly to foster a pro-business environment that can respond to shocks and trends and thus encourages the growth and creativity of its start-ups and of industries-at-large. Platforms such as the Business Mentorship Programme are demonstrative of this while the Global Start-up Awards Africa Summit recognises this. As we look to keep growing our economy and building on the foundations for job creation, we will keep pushing ahead with these initiatives that bear results,’ said Alderman Vos.

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