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Nedbank debuts youth platform

YouthX, a youth entrepreneurship platform by Nedbank, debuted this week, with changemaker Candice Chirwa, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Yesterday marked the first Nedbank YouthX online event, which hosts young entrepreneurs who speak about the success factors of running their projects. Nedbank says the platform enables, educates, empowers and connects South Africa’s youth to other like-minded individuals who have unlocked their greatest potential.

In the first of six virtual events, menstrual health activist and YouthX changemaker Candice Chirwa delivered a masterclass on “Finding you guiding star” – steps that young people can take to find and use their purpose to unlock their potential and give back to communities and change the trajectory of many lives.

She said during a panel discussion in the session: “Joining forces with young black women and being in that space you feel like you can support each other. It’s encouraging especially with mental health, because we as young people have that imposter syndrome and it’s hard to get over.”

In an interview with Gadget, Chirwa outlined what it takes to get started: “Before anything, there are emotional and mental obstacles that come with starting a venture. As young entrepreneurs, there is a perception that we need access to the best laptops, the best cell phones, the best cameras, but usually, when you are starting your enterprise, your smartphone is enough. All you need is to capture information, send emails, and create content, and most of the applications that I referenced in my Masterclass yesterday; they are mobile apps. With all smartphones nowadays and their app stores, there are a lot of productivity apps that can help entrepreneurs work through the day, just on their phone. There are also resources like workplaces and student entrepreneurship hubs, especially in Johannesburg, that are focused on ensuring that young entrepreneurs have access to resources.”

In her Masterclass, she spoke about using apps like Canva to be used in conjunction with Instagram to create a professional look.

“The youth unemployment rate is high,” says Chirwa. “When you add Covid to the mix, it’s had a devastating knock-on effect on young people trying to get access to jobs, and starting their initiatives. YouthX gives young people access to resources, opportunities mentorships, to start what they’ve wanted to start. Even if one doesn’t want to be an entrepreneur, then maybe it’s just getting access to jobs and getting access to the data, job tips, and how to create a good CV. The lovely thing is the concept of three pillars: lifestyle, employment, and unlocking your potential. These all affect one’s lifestyle, so having a one-stop-shop like YouthX is great.”

YouthX consists of YouthX Live – a series of virtual events to learn from changemakers and industry experts that also acts as a web-based app that will give users access to valuable content. The YouthX Awards will also reward young people for brilliant businesses or ideas with prizes up to the value of R2,2 million and an invite to the YouthX Summit – a festival and networking opportunity for youth to interact and share their learnings.

For more information on YouthX, visit www.unlocked.me/potential.

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