ENYC Media

ENYC HOSTS 1ST SHISELWENI YOUTH BUSINESS EXPO

Shiselweni Business Expo

Article:

The Eswatini National Youth Council (ENYC) has OVER 100 young entrepreneurs from Shiselweni. The training took place at the Shiselweni youth business expo held at the Eswatini Water Service Corporation (EWSC) regional branch, Nhlangano. The expo was meant to empower, educate, connect and expose the youth of Shiselweni with business mentors, vocational training skills and business opportunities.

Young entrepreneurs in the region were exposed to government tendering machinery, funding and entrepreneurship enterprises in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The expo was themed ‘Creating a Network for Young Entrepreneurs for Economic Evolution. Young entrepreneurs who have existing businesses also showcased their products and services at the expo, which exposed them to the business environment of selling; negotiating and potential funder’s like financial institutions.

Making his remarks, Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga, said the initiative would help to foster and increase economic growth and youth participation in business ventures. “The overall impact of the Shiselweni Youth Business Expo is to foster entrepreneurship competencies in young people. Empower young people to be self-aware, optimistic, business oriented and resilient. To develop empathy in young people in the region for collaborative and display increased entrepreneurship and business management skills to change the region”, he said.

Meanwhile, ENYC CEO Makhosami Dlamini also urged the young people to take advantage of this platform and explore other available business opportunities in industries such as agriculture, forestry, tourism and the fashion industries. He appreciated the presence of industries and stakeholders, which he said, provided a chance for possible incubation beyond the Expo seminar, potential sponsors and source of funding, mentorship and securing market for the youth already in business.

He further asked the youth to examine where they were directing or misdirecting their investments and shared the vision, plans and works of ENYC with the youth present. Ministry of commerce, industry and trade representative, Sibongkhosi Bhiya advised SME’s on the need to shift focus from being money driven to value-driven. Bhiya applauded SME’s role in fueling economic growth as they create jobs, expand the tax base and are drivers of innovation.

Lastly, SWAMA President Melusi Zox Dlamini also encouraged the Youth to consider the numerous and promising business opportunities in the arts industry.

The expo was sponsored by NAMBoard, Montigny, Lets Credit You, Pick’n Pay, United Holdings and Fincorp.

ENYC’s Youth Community Enterprise and Entrepreneurship proposed project to benefit a majority of young people in Lubombo and Shiselweni.

Shiselweni Business Expo
  • Written by: Sibongakonkhe Mamba
  • Date: 2020-06-27
  • Project Partner(s): JA

Article:

ENYC’s Youth Community Enterprise and Entrepreneurship proposed project to benefit a majority of young people in Lubombo and Shiselweni

“...youth [...] form the majority of the unemployed, unskilled and are most likely to be poor...if nothing is done to address this situation, a lot more Swazis will enter the poverty bracket in the foreseeable future.” - Swaziland Poverty Reduction Strategy and Action Plan

Stressing over the unemployment rate will soon be a thing of the past for the youth-based in the Lubombo and Shiselweni region after Eswatini National Youth Council (ENYC) has committed itself to deliver long-lasting solutions.

Upon discussions regarding to the project with possible partners it was discovered that there are a lot of negative effects, directly and indirectly, that come with youth unemployment. ENYC in partnership with several companies from these regions are to visit nearby communities with a mission of rolling out the youth community enterprise and entrepreneurship project. The program seeks to unfold the critical skills that the youth lack to identify opportunities and utilize them.

The program targets young people who have either completed their education, or dropped out before completion. This means participants will be required to only have basic reading, writing, and numeracy skills.

The Council introduced the program as means to support/advance the socio-economic development agenda of the youth as per its mandate. ENYC is mandated by the Government to reach out to the Youth at grassroots level, in all constituencies. The programs that the council is involved in are aimed at maximizing youth potential in the country by supporting every young person’s dream to become the best at whatever aspirations that they have.

With that said, the Council has observed the need to invest in mind-set change programs in the country. Over the years, the youth has been made to believe that, success is defined as the ability to complete tertiary education and enter into “the white collar” industry/community. Failure on the contrary is considered as the inability to complete school, thereby being labelled as the non-productive member of society.

Therefore, the council has taken it upon them to break the cycles of poverty among the youth of Eswatini and promote the entrepreneurship model as an active contributor to financial freedom.

The program will provide the youth with the following:

  • Skills required in assessing opportunities and taking advantage of opportunities - through career skills, vocational skills and enterprise skills training.
  • Aid in the identification of opportunities, through experiential business exercises and assessments, business plan development skills as well as workforce development.
  • Build the confidence of young women and men to live independently, through life skills training on communication skills, personal financial management, sexual and reproductive health and livelihood.
  • Seed capital through grants, not loans. This offer will encourage the young person without inflicting pressure to raise money to cover the loan which will result in profits and demands for venturing into business being unrecognized.

ENYC SUPPORTS ENDING PERIOD POVERTY PROJECT

Shiselweni Business Expo
  • Written by: Sibongakonkhe Mamba
  • Date: 2020-06-23
  • Project Partner(s): BAWSS Foundation

Article:

The inability to attend classes for a certain number of days per month and poor decision making that young females from the rural areas experience due the lack of menstrual hygiene education and products will soon be ancient history for girls attending school in the rural areas of Eswatini.

BAWSS foundation has expressed deep commitment in empowering the girl child from grassroots. ENYC, Spar, Letshego and Inyatsi to name a few supported the vision by joining hands with the non-profit organization to make a difference and contribute to the lives of our fellow sisters in a total number of 33 schools from all four regions of Eswatini, Manzini (8), Hhohho (9), Lubombo (10) and Shiselweni (6).

It has been brought to the nation’s attention that the drivers of teenage pregnancy in the country include low education, poverty, low SRH knowledge, gender inequality and limited access to SRH-related services, specifically family planning according to The National Youth Policy of 2020.

The Eswatini State of The Youth Report states that only 55% of women are fully empowered to make choices over health care, contraception and the ability to say yes or no to sex. What about the remaining 45 per cent?

The unexpected prevailing covid-19 pandemic struck the world socially, politically, technologically as well as economically. It is a well-known fact that worldwide we are still struggling to get back on our feet.

Stores recovering mechanism, economically is setting high prices on items we need on a daily basis. Sanitary towels are one of the items with sky rocketing prices and are every woman’s basic need. However it has caught the attention of BAWSS foundation that while some may be able to afford sanitary pads, it is not the case for the majority of young female students in the rural areas.

Eswatini National Youth Council (ENYC) one of the organizations supporting the “Every girl. Everywhere” dream, is a coordinating body for all youth programs mandated by the Government of Eswatini. The organization has a number of mandates however the one of promoting and supporting youth empowerment programmes and activities in collaboration with partners and stakeholders binds the organization to BAWSS. Therefore ENYC saw it fit to partner with BAWSS in the pad drive campaign as it is an activity that aligns with the organization’s mandate.

ENYC supported the foundation’s idea by transporting the BAWSS representatives from point A to B delivering sanitary towels and menstrual education to the girls in. Not only that but also with documenting the event and posting it on social media for awareness and attracting the desired audience.

According to a testimony by a teacher in one of the schools it was discovered that a large group of girls miss a number of classes per month as a result of menstruation. A student seconded her teacher by adding that they find themselves using tissue and other unhygienic items to hide the situation. The girls expressed sincere gratitude and excitement for the initiative by BAWSS in posing and clapping in happy pictures.