JA Eswatini recently concluded its highly successful Youth Business Shower Week, empowering young entrepreneurs and providing them with access to seed capital for their businesses. The program, which aimed to support and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit among the youth, witnessed remarkable participation and resulted in significant investments in youth-led enterprises.
Throughout the week-long event, a total of 154 youth-led businesses presented their innovative ideas and business plans before a panel of judges. The judges, comprised of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry partners, rigorously evaluated the presentations, offering valuable feedback and advice to the participants.
At the end of the intense competition, 40 outstanding businesses were selected as recipients of seed capital, with each business receiving vital financial support to help them realize their entrepreneurial dreams. The combined investment from various partners and collaborations during June, including the MTN/JA partnership for 21 Days of Yello Care, totaled E648,000, benefiting a grand total of 76 youth-led businesses.
The Republic of China in Taiwan Embassy played a significant role by showering 10 youth businesses with a generous E100,000 investment. Additionally, FINCORP supported 5 businesses with an investment of E50,000, while UNDP showered 3 businesses with E50,000. Imbeleko Foundation, under the patronage of Inkhosikati Make LaMashwana, supported 15 businesses owned by girls from Mpolonjeni (Siteki) umphakats with a generous investment of E90,000. Furthermore, JA itself awarded 7 businesses under the Solutions Fair Businesses with E70,000.
The Business Shower event attracted over 500 young entrepreneurs on its first day, where partners supporting JA Eswatini conducted informative business lectures. The subsequent days witnessed fierce competition as the 154 shortlisted businesses battled it out, defending their business plans in hopes of securing the coveted E10,000 seed capital.
The panel of judges, with their vast experience in entrepreneurship and industry knowledge, thoroughly evaluated the presentations, providing guidance and motivation to all participants to improve and expand their businesses.
JA Eswatini is committed to fostering a supportive ecosystem for young entrepreneurs, providing platforms and opportunities that enable the growth and success of youth-led businesses.