Young entrepreneurs in Joburg leveled up their business game during a workshop organized by Ye! and Startup Academy South Africa, with additional support from Bowman's Law Firm.
On June 21st in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ye! and Startup Academy South Africa organized a workshop for young entrepreneurs focusing on four key areas: how to implement the lean business model canvas, how to use digital marketing in your business, how to get your enterprise legally compliant and how to use alternative payment tools in your startup. It was jam packed with information, tools and insights which entrepreneurs could use immediately to grow their enterprises! The event was organized in partnership with Mastercard Foundation and the Player's of the People's Postcode Lottery. Additional support for the event was provided by JoziHub, Digify Africa, and Bowman's Law Firm, through the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation.
And the entrepreneurs who attended didn’t come to play! All 45 attendees were entrepreneurs with businesses in operation for anywhere from 6 months to 4 years and you bet they were ready to upgrade their hustle! And, on top of that, all these entrepreneurs were under the age of 30. Even the event organizers were all youth. Needless to say, this event was youth-focused and youth-approved.
To kick things off with some movement and action (we all know a 9am start time can catch a lot of us sleeping...yes you!), entrepreneurs were tasked with analyzing how local businesses operate. Entrepreneurs took part in what we are calling the "experiential startup tour." During the tour they walked around the entire shopping center, filled with small, locally owned and operated enterprises and spoke with store owners about their business model, their target market, whether they use digital marketing as part of their marketing strategy, and how they price their products.
After 30 minutes of roaming and chit chat, the entrepreneurs came together to discuss what they had learned. The Startup Academy team asked them questions such as,
"Are these businesses targeting one specfic market?"
"What's your take on how many of the stores were using social media to define their brand and access their target customers?"
The entrepreneurs were later quizzed on this info and given prizes for correct responses with delicious cookies from the Netherlands!
Following the experiential startup tour, entrepreneurs were awake and ready to learn more about how to incorporate the lean business model into their operations. Startup Academy co-founder, Ntokozo Sibiya led the session. The key takeaways were for entrepreneurs to clearly and comprehensively understand their product and what their uncommon advantage is that gives their customers satisfaction. Customer-centric enterprises today often follow the lean business model. To lay out your lean model on paper, well, you use the lean business model canvas of course! Learn more here.
Want to learn more about the Lean Business Model? Click here.
Following this session, marketing guru at Startup Academy South Africa and Founder of Wax Digital, Xolani Sedibe led a workshop on how to incorporate WhatsApp for business into your digital marketing strategy. Xolani highlighted the key benefits to having a WhatsApp for Business account and walked attendees through exactly how they can set it up. He outlined how the account can benefit a small business owner, stating certain perks which come with the account such as broadcast messages, which are not accessible through a regular WhatsApp account. Attendees loved this session so much they immediately asked for a follow up workshop providing more details on how to utilize WhatsApp for Business as well as how to use Facebook and other social media tools more effectively to grow their customer base.
Following lunch (even lunch was catered by a local, youth-led enterprise), Ye! partner Bowman’s Law Firm led a guided training on how to register a business, offering an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of different types of legal statuses for enterprises, how to be tax compliant and what to do if problems arise as well as key resources for support. The training was led by Senior Associates and legal experts on Mergers & Acquisitions in Corporate Law, Nanga Kwinana and Hlengiwe Dlamini.
This training was filled with high-level tips and key insights that many of the entrepreneurs were hungry to know more about. Many of the attendees were operational but still hadn’t registered, as is the case for many startups. This training provided them with valuable insights on how to go through the process, who they can turn to for support, and gave greater clarity on the type of incorporation to go through with.
It was clear that this information, although common knowledge for the Bowman’s Associates, was not so common for the attendees. The trainers could barely get through each slide without being hounded with questions! Entrepreneurs found the information provided important but not easily available in the current startup ecosystem. All in all, the entrepreneurs responses to this training showed that there is a clear need for Bowman’s and Startup Academy SA to collaborate in the future to offer similar trainings.
The day closed with a presentation from local Fintech Startup, Yoco. They discussed the benefits of using alternative payment systems and financial technology in a startup. Head of New Region Development, Ronald Makombo shared the potential value that Yoco could offer for many of the startups in the room who may not have a physical space but need to be able to accept payments electronically via an easy-to-use and manage system.
The day closed with every attendee receiving a certificate stating,
Your Hustle is officially UPGRADED!
All in, the #UpgradeYourHustle x Ye! Workshop was a big success. The entrepreneurs showed that they are hungry for follow up events. The engagement and back-and-fourth between the entrepreneurs spurred some interesting discussions too. Look out for more collaborations in the future offering follow up information and resources to the #UpgradeYourHustle x Ye! Workshop. The game keeps changing so entrepreneurs must too! Are you ready to #UpgradeYourHustle?
To learn more about Startup Academy South Africa and all the excellent work they are doing, check them out here, or here.
Get in touch with they today to collaborate on new and innovative activities which build the potential of youth entrepreneurs in Joburg!