Stellenbosch Municipality on Wednesday hosted its first ever entrepreneurs expo aimed at providing a platform where young people can get a look at the resources, services and support structures available to help them chase their economic dreams. Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Stellenbosch Municipality on Wednesday hosted its first ever entrepreneurs expo aimed at providing a platform where young people can get a look at the resources, services and support structures available to help them chase their economic dreams.

The expo comes shortly after the launch of an entrepreneurship hub that will be opened in Stellenbosch.

Local non-profit organisation Ranyaka Community Transformation has been awarded a ten year lease for the old Victoria Street Clinic which will next year be transformed into a unique space to unlock opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

"The Get Started Entrepreneurs Expo and the entrepreneurship hub being developed in the heart of Stellenbosch, shows our clear and unwavering commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and economic development in an inclusive and innovative way," mayor Gesie van Deventer said in a statement.

"Hundreds of young people from our EPWP (expanded public works programme) database, unemployed youth from all communities, school children and students attended the expo to witness first-hand the various exhibitions and presentations – providing them with high-level access to what they need to get started."

"With our country going through tough economic times, unemployment at high levels and stagnant economic growth, we have to think outside of the box and explore how we, as a local government, can play in role in job creation and economic growth," van Deventer added.

Stellenbosch has an unemployment rate of 11 percent, well below the national average of 29 percent, but the mayor said the municipality must still work to improve on this by creating more opportunities for all residents.

"We believe that entrepreneurship and small business development go hand-in-hand and play a central role in job creation and economic growth," he said.

"With the hosting of this expo, the municipality wanted to create an open platform for small businesses, entrepreneurs and young people with big ideas to see what services and opportunities are available to them. The expo further provided participants and attendees with a valuable networking opportunity to share ideas and solutions for overcoming challenges."

- African News Agency (ANA)