The green economy has great potential for a better future, from renewable energy to sustainable agriculture. However the need for a transition intersects with many challenges, particularly job losses in our country. Unemployment remains a pressing issue, especially for our young population, with 63,9% for those aged 15-24 and 42,1% for those aged 25-34 years.
As an organization serving in the environmental sector, we recognize that the potential opportunities for the youth are not limited to solely “job opportunities”.
Young people are the inheritors of the planet, they bring fresh perspectives, creativity and innovative thinking to the table. These are essential for finding sustainable solutions and driving the transition to a greener economy. By involving youth in decision-making processes, providing them with training and opportunities, and nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit, our Nation can tap into their potential as change-makers and ensure a more sustainable and inclusive future for all.
While the importance of Youth participation in the green economy is undeniable, it is important to acknowledge the challenges that we face when entering these sectors, such as limited access to capital, age bias and a lack of networking opportunities which can undermine the credibility and long lasting opportunities for young people.
With the right support, mentorship, resources, young people can overcome these challenges and foster a sustainable future for all.
As Young people we deserve seats at the table, if not, we should be the table.
Hence the creation of Sizanani; a project aimed at empowering youth lead businesses.
Sizanani posits that for South Africa, solving our Climate Crisis must go hand in hand with solving the Youth Unemployment Crisis. We see that the Green Economy will demand new visions, new mindsets and new skills. Thus, the established barriers to entry must be circumvented, and young people must be given access to this space. Sizanani aims to do just that by bringing together established firms and youth partners into consolidated service offerings.
Through joint ventures, youth led businesses can access resources, funding, networks, expertise and credibility that otherwise might be challenging to obtain. Not only will Sizanani break down barriers of entry for the youth but it will also drive economic growth and create dynamic systems where all parties involved benefit.
Sizanani presents exciting opportunities and our signature projects for youth innovators serve opportunities for mitigation for government assets and private sector. For example, initiatives like IREREP (Integrated Resource Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programme developed by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure aims at greening their buildings and providing employment opportunities. For this, Sizanani aims to consolidate multiple services into a single bid, fostering access to higher barrier-to-entry opportunities for funding and service delivery.
”Where Youth lead businesses typically face high barriers to entry, by partnering with larger firms, Sizanani will build a staircase over these barriers, and create a space for Youth Centric solutions to gain traction and grow” – Katlego Theledi – CEO; Just Carbon
Projects facilitated by Sizanani invite the youth to join the networks of like minded individuals, tackling challenges from the climate crisis and the transition to share their innovations and solve problems in sectors such as waste management, renewable energy and much more. Say goodbye to funding barriers and minimum size requirements for tenders. Sizanani aims to open up a world of possibilities.
Established firms that align with the values and spirit of Sizanani are invited to provide solutions to services where there are high barriers to entry in conjunction with youth led businesses to possibly provide solutions for low entry barrier services as part of the same projects.
These firms/ industry players can benefit from engaging in PPAs that support local youth participation in the renewables economy, boost ESG compliance and integration into existing ESG projects and policy.
The spirit of Sizanani is “to help each other”. By bringing together established firms and youth led businesses into a consolidated offering, doors open for the youth in ways that extend beyond offering youth jobs in the future. We need opportunities for collaboration and partnerships. Furthermore, the credibility and reputation of established firms can enhance the standing of youth, instilling trust and confidence amongst potential clients and investors. By bridging the gap between experience and innovation, these collaborations can only bring a synergy of positive change, propelling the environmental sector towards a more sustainable future and solving the challenges that may come from a much needed transition to a green economy.
In conclusion, the Green Economy presents immense opportunities but it also comes with its challenges. The collaboration between established firms and youth led businesses, under the facilitation of Sizanani, holds a key to unlocking a sustainable and inclusive future.
Sizanani’s consolidated service offering empowers youth led businesses by breaking down barriers, facilitating access to funding, expertise, networks, credibility and much more. Through joint ventures and partnerships these businesses can contribute to economic growth, job creations. By embracing the spirit of entrepreneurship and collaboration, we can nurture a generation of change-makers who will shape a sustainable future for all. Together, let us bridge the gap between experience and innovation and propel the environmental sector towards a more prosperous and resilient tomorrow.
As we continue to develop Sizanani we will undoubtedly need to reach as far into our networks as possible. Thus we call on Youth led business and established firms with aligned ideals to fill out the form below and register their interest in being part of this project.