By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – The only thing that could help reduce South Africa’s high rate of youth unemployment could be the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, especially amongst rural and township youth.
During their visit to MalutiTvet college’s Kwetlisong campus in Riverside, representatives from the department of trade, industry and competition (DTIC) presented several funding schemes that are n tailor-made to support and promote innovation and entrepreneurship as a tool that will enable rural and township youth to come up with bankable ideas that will lead to profitable businesses.
During her presentation Mosibudi Mokoele said; “Innovation refers to new and unique products and processes that may be incremental, novel or radical. For the DTIC to consider an idea innovative it must be functionally unique and advanced, efficient, have a low cost and if it is process driven it should be a substantial improvement of the original process. Innovation is predominantly the result of technical development as opposed to research and studies.” One of the critical funding schemes that was presented was GIFS which stands for Grassroots Innovator Facilitation Scheme. GIFS offers both financial and non-financial support to stimulate the economic activity of grassroots innovators particularly in rural and township.
“Innovation is predominantly the result of technical development as opposed to research and studies.”
One of the critical funding schemes that were presented was Grassroots Innovator Facilitation Scheme,(GIFS). GIFS provides both financial and non-financial support to stimulate the economic activity of grassroots innovators particularly in rural and township communities.
According to DTIC a grassroots innovator is someone who usually tries to solve local problems using technology and is not affiliated to conventional institutions and lives in a rural or township community.
The GFIS funding scheme offers a 100 percent grant to prospective applicants who come up with ideas that are commercially viable. The DTIC offers support for prototype development ,protection of intellectual property commercialized and accessing the market.
Addressing the audience ,Thandeka Mahlatjie the centre manager from Maluti Tvet college incubation centre said: “The incubation centre is available for individuals who have skills and would like to create innovative and commercially viable products that will help better their lives. Before we can change the situation of our country, we must have individuals who want to improve their own lives in turn impact the economy of South Africa.”
Business man who is the founder and owner of Maverick Solar energy in rural Maluti-a Phofung (MAP) has come up with an innovative solar power water pump that can be used at boreholes to solve his community’s challenge of water scarcity as well as unreliable electricity supply.
“As a local business owner , I have partnered with Maluti Tvet college to offer work experience to some of their civil engineering and welding students. This solar pump was made possible through a collaboration with Lebohang Tshabalala, a young lady who has exceptional welding skills she learned from her time at the college,” Mosia said.
Lebohang Tshabalala was sitting home without work until Mosia sought her out and gave her the opportunity to work on this innovative solar water pump.