Mamelodi youth to get entrepreneurial skills boost through launch of Mamelodi Business Hub

The Hub, at the University of Pretoria Mamelodi campus, will enable young people to access the most recent technology, expert advice and a space to collaborate.

13 May 2022
UNICEF South Africa/2022
Debbie and Koketso, two recent graduates of the Mamelodi Business Hub show off their vegetable garden, as part of their new business venture. “I was born and raised in Mamelodi, I knew nothing about planting before,” said Koketso.

PRETORIA, 13 May 2022 – The Mamelodi Business Hub, launched today, will provide young people across the township and further afield with an opportunity to pursue their creativity and realize their ambitions to achieve entrepreneurial and social impact.

The Hub, based at the University of Pretoria, Mamelodi Campus, has been established in collaboration with UNICEF South Africa and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC).

The Mamelodi Business Hub will endeavour to become a key catalyst in township revival and enhancement, not only focusing on entrepreneurial development but also on significant social impact via its focused service offerings to an array of communities in the region,” says the University of Pretoria Vice-Chancellor Professor Tawana Kupe.

The Mamelodi Business Hub will focus on:

  • Developing women’s leadership development with an entrepreneurial flair
  • Introducing new 4IR technology via its maker space, design lab, and skills development
  • Co-creating innovative new products and services for youth entrepreneurs via our interdisciplinary orientated teams and strategic partners
  • Merging the needs of the micro-business environment in Mamelodi with the skills of undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Creating a base for collaborative international research advancing the body of knowledge on the informal sector entrepreneur and socio-economic development, and,
  • Creating a unique entrepreneurship enablement model to be replicated in South Africa and across Africa

Shirley Machaba, the Chief Executive Officer of Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) South Africa, says the collaboration with UP and UNICEF allows the firm to stay true to its core values and to contribute to the growth and development of the country and continent.

“South Africa faces a myriad of challenges relating to preparing for the new world of work. PwC South Africa and UNICEF, together with their delivery partners, and through the best-in-class methodologies and emerging smart technologies, are enhancing these programmes to improve the overall chances of employability and foster an entrepreneurial spirit for young and disadvantaged people between the ages of 15-24.

Within this context, UNICEF and the University of Pretoria will be utilising the UP Mamelodi Campus to increase scale and reach in bridging the skills divide in offering youth within the community to develop entrepreneurship skills,” Machaba adds.

UNICEF South Africa/2022
Shirley Machaba, Chief Executive Officer of Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) South Africa, Muriel Mafico, UNICEF South Africa, Deputy Representative and UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe; and Professor Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Dean of UP’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the launch of the Mamelodi Business Hub.

“Providing young people with the space and opportunities to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions is a priority in South Africa,” says Muriel Mafico, UNICEF South Africa Deputy Representative.

“This collaboration, as part of the Generation Unlimited initiative, will help young people to transform their social and economic prospects to improve their wellbeing and that of their communities and South Africa as a whole,” adds Mafico.

In 2011, the Mamelodi Business Hub (MBH), originally known as the Mamelodi Business Clinic, was established by the Department of Business Management within the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and became a crucial role player in the implementation of community development initiatives. The primary purpose of the MBH is to enable community development through innovative interventions to enhance the development of entrepreneurs in the local community.

For more than a decade, the Mamelodi Business Clinic touched the lives of more than 14 000 entrepreneurs. But now what Prof Kupe describes as UP’s best-kept secret, has reached a point where it is ready to scale its activities for greater impact.

Thus, the revitalised Hub is borne out of a greater vision for not just Mamelodi but the country and the African continent. “We are a university whose new five-year strategic plan is to be future-oriented and future-focused in addressing both historical and present challenges. One of the core strategic goals of UP is to embed community engagement and civic commitment in its academic mission.

“The MBH will from today focus on being more than just a business incubator,” adds Prof Kupe.

Prof Kupe says the work of the MBH will integrate with the mandates of the Centre for the Future of Work and the Centre for Entrepreneurship towards creating and transferring new knowledge, innovation, and the strategic trajectory of UP within a changing socio‐political, economic and higher education environment.

“The success of the MBH is directly linked to the synergy and the strong relationships established over time in driving a shared vision of social impact. We thank PwC and UNICEF for funding and advising the new business model and program,” he adds.

Media contacts

Toby Fricker
Chief of Communication & Partnerships
UNICEF South Africa
Tel: +27 61 418 7486
Sudeshan Reddy
Communication Specialist
UNICEF South Africa
Tel: +27 82 561 3970

About the University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria (UP) is one of the largest contact and residential universities in South Africa, with its administration offices located on the Hatfield Campus, Pretoria. This 114-year-old institution is also the largest producer of research in South Africa.

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