#ImStaying launches online platform to reduce unemployment and boost small businesses

A man offers his services at a traffic intersection in Cape Town. Almost 55% of South African youth are unemployed. Picture: EFE-EPA / Nic Bothma

The #ImStaying Entrepreneur Movement has been set up to activate and empower entrepreneurs to build sustainable and profitable businesses.

Start-ups, entrepreneurs, business owners, those thinking of starting a business, those who want to create a second revenue stream or a side hustle, or even those who are unemployed are set to benefit from a new initiative by the popular #ImStaying founder, reports Roodepoort Northsider.

The non-profit initiative, together with The Lions Den, will be launching the #ImStaying Entrepreneur Movement on 30 March.

In its first major move to focus on entrepreneurship and unemployment, #ImStaying – with over 1.1 million followers on Facebook – has launched the movement, aiming to lower the unemployment rate by 5% over the next five years.

The colossal unemployment rate in South Africa amplified the serious need to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit in South Africa, which is why the movement challenges all to commit to taking the first step to becoming self-sufficient.

Leon Lategan, CEO of The Lions Den and co-creator of the #ImStaying Entrepreneur Movement, said that traditionally, entrepreneurship was not always a feasible option in South Africa.

“A lack of infrastructure and a professional online presence; unavailability of basic business coaching; limited sales and marketing knowledge; and access to market are still huge barriers to entering into the business world, and with our massive unemployment rate, we are facing an unemployment epidemic.

“Our purpose and, even more so, our responsibility is to create more entrepreneurs in this country.”

He said the #ImStaying Entrepreneur Movement has been set up to activate and empower entrepreneurs to build sustainable and profitable businesses.

According to #ImStaying Group Founder and CEO Jarette Petzer: “Job creation is paramount to the stimulation and growth of our economy. At this stage, we are at a 16-year unemployment high, which is simply not sustainable. It’s time we all get stuck in.

“My firm belief is that micro-business is the answer to building a vibrant and fruitful economy, helping more South Africans to live a dignified life.”

“The partnership with The Lions Den strategically made sense to us, given the simplicity and effectiveness of the model, plugging seamlessly into one of our five main drivers, namely ‘A Job In Every Home’. We anticipate good things to come from this, one of our first good deeds as the ImStaying NPC,” Petzer added.

On the #ImStaying Entrepreneur Movement website and via their social media platforms, members will have access to specialised business coaching and training, a business directory listing, a professional landing page (mini-website); connection with a Facebook community where members can share ideas, ask advice and trade among each other, as well as getting exposure for their existing business among the community, corporates and investors.

There will also be a “find work” section where members can see which services other members are looking for, “chapters” where members can connect and communicate with other members in close geographical proximity to them, and network as well as share advice and tips among each other.

Lategan recalled: “I was never exposed to the idea of entrepreneurship, and yet my career path shifted into just that. I went to university, failed a Bachelor of Business Science / Marketing degree and today I am an international speaker and consultant on the subject of marketing, without any qualifications – crazy isn’t it?”

He added that he was also deeply concerned about South Africa’s unemployment rate, rocketing from 1.6 million to 6.7 million since 1995, and was moved to step up and stop waiting on government and business to take action.

“By approaching #ImStaying founder and CEO, Jarette Petzer, to create the #ImStaying Entrepreneur Movement and help spur micro business on in South Africa, we hope to alleviate this burden in our country,” he concluded.

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