The CEO of non-profit organization, StreetBiz Foundation, Dr Nico de Klerk, (59) from Pretoria, is currently walking across South Africa with a powerful message to disadvantaged youth. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - The chief executive of non-profit orgnanisation StreetBiz Foundation, Dr Nico de Klerk, is walking across the country to raise awareness about entrepreneurship. 

The Long Walk Project is focused on youth and unemployed South Africans in economically disadvantaged communities (EDCs), which can be estimated at nearly 30% (17 million) of the total population of South Africa.

“I decided to embark on this journey to make contact with present and future entrepreneurs and raise awareness around a changing mindset needed on a grass-roots level for entrepreneurship to thrive in our country,” De Klerk said. 

He started his journey of more than 2 750km at the statue of Nelson Mandela on Mandela Day (18 July 2018) and will end at the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town on Heritage Day (24 November 2018).

By the end of his mission, De Klerk would have visited more than a hundred local communities, meeting with local schools and community leaders to host workshops and deliver empowering presentations.

“This long walk is a gift to all South Africans, intended to reboot our mindset for the positive, reboot our perceptions and to cross boundaries like never before. This is a gift to highlight the enormous potential we have, especially among the youth and unemployed. It is exciting stuff to experience the strive and ambition at grass roots levels. But we need to change strategy and create access for them.

“I have been inspired by the stories I’ve heard along the way and the hospitality I have experienced, sleeping in townships, guest houses and family homes across the country. This has been a unique and life changing experience,” he said. 

He has set up a campaign on donations-based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy to appeal to South Africans to support his project and help raise funds to implement phase one of his long term plan, an online business school aimed at Grade 10 and 11 students as well as the unemployed.

“As a nation we have so much potential and so many good people who want to be a part of the solution and bring about meaningful social change. I hope the public will continue to support my BackaBuddy campaign to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs,”De Klerk said. 

The campaign has thus far raised R 35 514.10 towards his target of R 450 000.00.

De Klerk is expected to near Cape Town soon.

14 - 15 Nov : Wed & Thurs : Franschoek (28km)

16 Nov : Friday : Pniel (25km)

17 - 18 Nov : Sat & Sunday : Kylesmore (6km)

19 - 21 Nov : Mon – Wed : Stellenbosch (11km)

22 Nov : Thursday : Delft (22km)

23 Nov : Friday : Langa (12km)

24 Nov : Sat : CT (13km)

You can donate here.

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Cape Argus