23 November 2020

Absa Group has announced that it will support entrepreneurship through its partial funding of the 1000 Tech Entrepreneurs Programme, assisting aspiring South African entrepreneurs in creating innovative technology businesses. The programme, undertaken by technology ecosystem Silicon Durbs, provides a structure in which entrepreneurs learn how to start and grow their businesses while identifying and solving industry and real-world challenges.

Andrew Davies, Digital Partnerships Ecosystem Lead at Absa Group, says that unemployment statistics highlight the importance of initiatives like that of the 1000 Tech Entrepreneurs Programme. “This year has shown us more than ever that large corporates should be supporting entrepreneurial ventures in order to create employment opportunities. Added to this, it is the fresh and innovative thinking of technology entrepreneurs that gives rise to the type of startups that solve real-world problems.”

Lindani Mkhize, founder of Silicon Durbs and campaign lead for the 1000 Tech Entrepreneurs Programme, says that they are on track to discover the next wave of South African tech entrepreneurs and businesses. “We’re hoping to stimulate a culture of technology entrepreneurship that can be copied in other African markets and prestigious supporters like Absa help us to bring this dream to life, while creating an ecosystem with stakeholders that are willing to collaborate, partner and support each other.”

Absa currently works with over 40 entrepreneurs through its innovative WorkInProgress ecosystem which supports and connects technology start-ups with potential development and growth partners.

Absa is supporting phase two of the 1000 Tech Entrepreneurs Programme which consists of ideation bootcamps, running from November 2020 until March 2021, focusing on connecting industry challenges with participating entrepreneurs. This stage involves those entrepreneurs that don’t necessarily have an initial idea, but rather just an interest in developing tech business solutions for particular industries. The five-day boot camps are hosted in different locations around South Africa and consist of value proposition design, product engineering sessions, brand development sessions, general sales skills, networking and pitching.

The 1000 Tech Entrepreneurs Programme is open to all South Africans and previous entrepreneurship experience is not a requirement.   Registration for the programme can be done online: https://1000techstartups.co.za.