“South Africa is facing a number of challenges at the present time. At the core of its problems is the growing alienation of youth unemployment.

At the Startup Mzansi Foundation, we believe that the solution lies in identifying the best-fit people to start and grow businesses. It is the job creation of those enterprises that is really going to make an impact on unemployment. Government, businesses and civil society need to work together to understand more about the policies and types of support that best enable the start-up and growth of youth-led enterprises.

Sandile Shabangu (StartupGuy), Founder & CEO, Startup Mzansi Foundation NPC

Welcome to the Startup Mzansi Foundation website!

At a time when South Africa’s biggest issue is youth unemployment, businesses and government must work together to help young people develop an entrepreneurial mindset. That means fostering a culture which supports young people to take risks, set up businesses, create jobs and become masters of their own destiny. Whether it’s through finance, mentoring, incentives or training, we must all play our part so that this generation can achieve its full potential.

At the Startup Mzansi Foundation, we believe in boosting entrepreneurship through education, and that a cultural shift is necessary for youth entrepreneurship and innovation to accelerate. We believe that there is a very strong need for more innovative funding models and that our government needs to play a more supportive role. We believe that young people will be the driving force behind our economic prosperity in the coming decades, but we need policies and programs to enhance their opportunities.

Startup Mzansi Foundation seeks to tell a new story about the role of young entrepreneurs in South Africa. Rather than viewing young people as ‘problems to be solved’, we need to recognize and support their role as innovative and creative thinkers. We need to engage them as partners in development, equipping them with the know-how and tools to impact their own lives and uplift their own communities. We believe that entrepreneurs are the leading drivers of prosperity, jobs, and innovation. Without entrepreneurs, we would cease to move forward within our local economies and our country. With this belief at the core of our organization, we strive to support young entrepreneurs. We encourage young people to become entrepreneurs and take risks, to give life and sustainability to big ideas. With the formidable challenges facing South Africa’s young people, the final lesson is that no idea can be too big. We believe in possibility.

Throughout these pages, we also introduce you to the businesses, governments, and civil society organizations that work with us to ensure that today’s youth have the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to succeed.

Together, we must confront these challenges. The time to startup is now.