The Maverick Awards aim to encourage dynamic young entrepreneurs to help drive South Africa’s job creation and economic growth. (Image: Brand South Africa)
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Melissa Jane Cook
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes,” said the late Steve Jobs. “The ones who see things differently – they’re not fond of rules … You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things.”
For the first time in South Africa, the entrepreneurial skills of the country’s young people will be celebrated by new awards exclusively for businesspeople under the age of 35. The Maverick Awards, a project of youth development consultancy Under 35 Mavericks in partnership with Brand South Africa, Wits Business School, the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Intel, seek to recognise and reward the hard-nosed genius of established young South African entrepreneurs with prizes of up to R1-million.
The Maverick Awards are open to 10 categories of young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35. They must operate their enterprises within the borders of South Africa, and must have been in business for at least three years, with a minimum annual turnover of R1-million. Nominations are open from Monday 10 March to Friday 28th March. (See more of the entry criteria.) http://www.under35mavericks.com/page/entry-criteria-and-tcs/
Driving job creation
“The Maverick Awards seek to carve out a space for young entrepreneurs to be the ‘wind’ that drives the sails of our job creation and economic growth endeavours,” said Bokang Seritsane, founder of Under 35 Mavericks. “In a country where a significant proportion of the young population is without employment or sustainable economic opportunity, it is imperative to acknowledge youth success and unleash new role models who can inspire numerous other young South Africans to be the creators of their own destinies.”
The awards will be launched in June, South Africa’s annual Youth Month. They aim to boost the development of a new generation of young, innovative South African entrepreneurs. The hope is that these tycoons-in-the-making will go on to contribute significantly to the economy, so helping improve the lives of South Africa’s people.
“Innovation has become the blueprint to sustainable entrepreneurial success, handsomely rewarding those that embrace it by affording them creative disruption ability, market access, competitiveness, growth and ultimately grand success,” said Seritsane.
Under 35 Mavericks plan to roll out initiatives to help young entrepreneurs in the critical areas of market access, creativity and value innovation for sustainable competitive advantage, business growth strategy, marketing for growth in depressed economies, leadership for entrepreneurs, investor readiness as well as value asset creation.
For more information on how to nominate yourself or a young entrepreneur you know, go to www.under35mavericks.com, follow @under35maverick on Twitter or visit Under 35 Mavericks on Facebook.