Following a successful 2020 edition, PAGE & South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) are hosting the 2021 Driving Force for Change II Youth Challenge. The Challenge is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs and green innovators to further develop early-stage entrepreneurship skills and competencies aiming to support the country’s green economy development and create decent jobs for youth.
The categories include: Best Greening of Manufacturing Sector SME (Resource Efficiency: water, energy); Best Woman Entrepreneur; Most Innovative Business Entrepreneur; Best Circular Economy – symbiosis / Integrated Waste Management – recycling SME; Most Innovative Ecosystem Service SME; Most Innovative Agriculture or agro-processing SME; Eco-Tourism; and Best Greening of Manufacturing Sector.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across all economic sectors are welcome to participate, provided their business plans are economically viable and driven by environmentally sound and socially inclusive intentions. Entrepreneurs must be between 18 and 34 years of age and already running a small or medium-sized business in South Africa.
The first edition was created last year as a means to address youth unemployment through support to green entrepreneurship and formal and growth-oriented young entrepreneurs. A total of 272 applications were received and 13 young entrepreneurs were successfully awarded with finance, technical assistance and business development support.
The deadline for applications is 15 September 2021.