SARAO Commercialisation runs exciting entrepreneurship challenge in the Northern Cape

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The SARAO Commercialisation unit is currently running a Karoo Innovative Challenge in several Northern Cape towns.

The Karoo Innovation Challenge invites people between the ages of 18 and 35 years old from Carnarvon, Brandvlei, Van Wyksvlei, Williston, Prieska, Britstown and Vosburg to enter an idea to pitch before a panel of judges. The ideas that will be considered must be sustainable and business focused and provide a solution on education, health and/or agriculture and assist in growing the local economy, developed with the seven towns in mind.

Exciting cash prizes are up for grabs: the winner bags R30 000 cash, second place receives R20 000 and the third place entry will receive R10 000 cash for the winning idea. Entries close on Sunday, 6 November 2022 at 5pm.

The challenge is being run during Global Entrepreneurship Week which takes place between 14 and 22 November 2022. The top 10 participants and winners will receive free pitching training by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), access to incubation space and business development to support their ideas.

“The aim of the Karoo Innovation Challenge is to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and collaboration by generating innovative ideas that provide solutions to pressing societal issues. When I looked at our database of SMMEs I noticed that we have very few young people and we hope to attract them through this challenge,” says Apiwe Hotele, SARAO Senior Commercialisation Specialist.

Hotele continues that the aim is to run this challenge annually during the Global Entrepreneurship week: “We have received a lot of interest and support from both government and private sector. The NYDA will be providing free pitching to the participants, our judges are from the Small Enterprise Development Agency, the Department of Economic Development, the National Empowerment Fund and Standard Bank. Absa has also indicated interest in sponsoring. I am excited to see the outcome,” says Hotele.