The Dad Fund Entrepreneurship and innovation are vehicles for change and leadership. But in South Africa, entrepreneurship is far from reaching its full potential.  In 2005, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the largest and most rigorous longitudinal study of entrepreneurship in the world, released the following illuminating findings about the entrepreneurship in South Africa.
The DAD Fund and Evo Media together with their American partners therefore approached the US government to sponsor a dynamic new Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (YEP).  YEP offers young entrepreneurs a chance to learn from top international entrepreneurs in the USA and launch their own businesses in South Africa.  The programme follows a holistic approach that acts as a seed for spreading this training and support to other potential entrepreneurs in the country.

JOHANNESBURG, January 2010 – Following the call to action in November 2009, to encourage budding South African entrepreneurs to apply for places with the Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP), the DAD Fund and Evo Media are happy to announce the first group of finalists who have been carefully selected to attend the first 6 week mentorship programme in the USA.  The finalists chosen on 20 December 2009, were immediately contacted to confirm their participation.  These deserving youth were selected from a broad spectrum of talented young entrepreneurs from around the country.
Evo Media CEO, Emiley Vollmer confirmed that the selection process had been completed.  “We completed the process of sifting through all the entries and were able to select the finalists who stood out above the rest as the most deserving of a place on the mentorship program.  We have contacted them and they are all rearing to get started,” said Vollmer from her Cape Town office.
The first group that will be travelling to Nevada, United States of America are:
Afaaf Parker Western Cape
Balungile Klaas KZN
Clayton Jacobs Gauteng
Colwyn Savings Gauteng
Greer Dennison Gauteng
Jody van Heerden Western Cape
Lonwabo Rani Western Cape
Malusi Myeni KZN
Njabulo Thabethe Gauteng
Zintle Madikizela Eastern Cape
Zukhanye Mayekiso Western Cape
Each of the finalists have already undergone an introductory two-day workshop in Cape Town, which was conducted on the 4th and 5th of January 2010.  This was followed by an online course which is to ensure that each participant is prepared and equipped with all the necessary information to commence their mentorship program overseas.
“The finalists have departed for the United States of America to their temporary base on 11 February 2010.  The first week will be spent on orientation and placement, and this will be followed by a 5-week intense course, where each finalist will get the opportunity to spend practical time with an established entrepreneur in their chosen field,” said Lyndon Barends, DAD Fund Founder.  At the end of these 6 weeks, the finalists will return to South Africa, where they will undertake their final online courses and workshops.  Following this, the finalists will be deemed fit to return to their own businesses and put their newly-acquired skills to the test.
“As a follow up to their mentorship, three months after their return home, their American mentors will visit South Africa and conduct reviews to ascertain how well they have integrated their skills and experiences into the day-to-day running of their businesses,” added Barends.  “In this way, we are offering each participant a full-circle approach to bettering their businesses.  Should there be a need, these mentors will further assist in making sure that the participants’ skills are adapted to their current environment and target markets,” he concluded.
The Cape Regional Chambers also played a key role in hosting the selection process and the workshops, in which the YEP finalists attended. Several companies came on board to assist the team with pre and post travel workshops and with the entrepreneurs training programs.  
The YEP candidates we sent off with a farewell cocktail party on 9 February 2010. The DAD Fund and Evo Media wishes them good luck on their journey.   
The second round of YEP entries will be open in April 2010, to select the next group of finalists who will attend the 2nd mentorship program schedule for September 2010.
For more information, please contact:

Breaking Stereotypes

The Fun Side of Being Serious Book Series