Free Mentorship Opportunities For Young Entrepreneurs On Mandela Day

Young entrepreneurs will have free access to mentorship from top business leaders thanks to Mandela Day.

Top CEOs and business people have little time to honour the hundreds of mentorship requests which with they are flooded. Sam Apata, the owner of website development company, recognised a need for young entrepreneurs to have access to some of the greatest business minds South Africa has to offer in order to grow future leaders. That's when 67 CEOs began.

"I have done websites for different business owners and entrepreneurs. I got interested in entrepreneurship development and I started a platform where young entrepreneurs are being mentored by CEOs of different companies," Apata said during an interview with Mentorfeed.

He said the challenges he has seen from aspiring business people gave him the idea to link them up with those who could help them.

Apata was so inspired by the work Former President Nelson Mandela did for South Africa that he decided to name the organisation 67 CEOs and use Mandela Day on 18 July to give back.

"With Mandela being a great leader and a servant leader, it is our desire that CEOs also see themselves as servant leaders."

Apata Sam2

The first event was on Mandela Day last year where Bonang Mohale, CEO of Business Leadership SA, spent over two hours mentoring young minds on the realities of business in the country. Also at the event was Phuti Mahanyele, executive chairperson of Sigma Capital.

Due to the success of that event three more were hosted this year and another will be taking place on 18 July.

"We have found in the events we've hosted that young entrepreneurs want to learn beyond business skills. They want to tap into the personal lives of the CEOS so they can link that themselves. If they hear what the CEO has gone through and overcome, it gives them the confidence that they can get over what they are going through in their own lives."

This year's event will feature the CEO of Innovation Hub, McLean Sibanda at a yet to be confirmed venue. 

Aspiring entrepreneurs will be able to pitch their ideas to the CEOs and get guidance and feedback.

"We are urging other CEOs to join this initiative and be part of what we are doing."

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67 CEOs Programme

  • Two Keynote lectures from distinguished CEOs from private and public institutions
  • Short business model pitch presentation from selected young township entrepreneurs – Dragons Den style.
  • Two panel discussions on the topic ‘The Future of Job Creation’ and 'Preparing the youth for the 4th industrial revolution'
  • Fireside chat - 'Business Leadership Development'.
  • One-on-one and/or group speed mentoring session. 
  • Two weeks of Entrepreneurship Drive with CEOs. To be documented by print media and professional video production. This is CEOs' commitment to ‘Thuma Mina/Send Me’ programmes as a way of making everyday a Mandela Day. CEO(s) will visit the SME owner's office/store/factory, spend a minimum of 100 minutes (in commemoration of Mandela's centenary), listen to their challenges then give applicable and strategic feedback on how to scale their business successfully.