The World Economic Forum projected that South Africa’s rate of unemployment in 2023 would be the worst in the world — at 35,6%. That being the case despite our country being the most industrialised on the African continent.
The joblessness scenario has been with us for at least two decades but things have become even worse since the Covid pandemic. Coupled with this is the fact that our economic growth rate has been extremely slow for an extended period, as well as the reality of harsh employment laws which have resulted in employers’ reluctance to hire staff.
It is against this backdrop that the Jewish community has put significant weight behind various initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship among our people. We see this through initiatives for youth — exposing young people to successful entrepreneurs and to like-minded young people in Israel, for instance — as well as through the work of the Cape SAJBD in partnership with Entrepreneurs’ Network, ORT Jet Cape Town, and Over the Rainbow. ORT Jet Cape Town is dedicated to the provision of support for entrepreneurs from within the community.
According to Lisa Sandler, Head of ORT Jet Cape Town, “ORT Jet is part of ORT SA CAPE. Established over a decade ago in Cape Town to support and empower small- and medium-sized businesses in our community, we use the skills, resources and business knowledge we already have among members of our community to offer quality guidance to budding business-owners.”
The ORT Jet approach is based on four elements:
A mentorship programme • Business networking opportunities • Entrepreneurial training • Business talks and webinars.
The reach is impressive: well over 1000 Cape Town entrepreneurs benefited from some form of support during 2022, and about 100 gained from the exposure to mentors. In addition, numerous others attended events and training offered by the organisation.
The ORT Jet Shining Light Awards 2023
These awards recognise exceptional entrepreneurs, because we believe entrepreneurs have a huge role to play in our country’s economy. That’s why we’re looking for the most impactful, resilient, inspiring entrepreneurs in the Western Cape.
There are two categories: 1. The Shining Light Entrepreneur Award — awarded to an entrepreneur who is setting a benchmark for success in the business world. 2. The Shining Light Social Entrepreneur Award — awarded to an entrepreneur who is making a tangible & positive impact on their community.
We invite you to enter, or to nominate an amazing entrepreneur to take part in the 4th annual Shining Light Awards. Applications opened on 28 July and the awards ceremony will take place on 22 November.
• Published in the August 2023 issue – Click here to start reading.
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