Seminars teach young entrepreneurs to “go in head-first”

siyabangena---textA session of the Siyabangena Seminars held in August at Fredman Towers in Sandton. (Image: Siyabangena Seminars)

Budding entrepreneurs can expect to engage with successful business leaders at the upcoming Siyabangena Seminars held in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal.

Held between 26 and 27 September at Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre, speakers will cover topics ranging from getting your business started to marketing.

The seminars are the brainchild of the seminars’ CEO Sibusiso Hlongwane and director Sinenhlanhla Mkhize. It is meant to bring together experienced entrepreneurs and young black businesspeople.

Hlongwane believes youth entrepreneurship is the answer to the challenges we are facing in our country. “We need to grow the economy and a great way to achieve this is to see a rise of entrepreneurs coming from our townships and rural villages. This is where the game-changers are, and that’s exactly where we need to go to empower and ignite the young minds.”

For Mkhize, taking the seminars to his hometown is and exciting prospect. “KwaMashu has never seen anything like this. We are bringing top businessmen and women to share their knowledge and experience with aspiring entrepreneurs. It will be two days of information and knowledge sharing, and not forgetting the valuable networking.”

Speakers will include Jabulani Ngcobo, serial entrepreneur and CEO of CashflowPro; Mpume Langa, head of Absa Private Bank KZN and chairperson of Businesswomen’s Association; and Brian Mpono, project director of 1Source Group and Ukhozi FM contributor.

“Siyabangena” is a popular term used by black South African youth which loosely translates to “going in head first”. The term is used by people who take on a task despite knowing there are challenges ahead. It is done to prove that they can and will do it. This is the philosophy that these two entrepreneurs live by.


Play Your Part Ambassador, Brian Mpono, will be one of the guests at the seminars.

Mpono is a leading figure in green energy; he is executive director at Green Technology Investments and is involved in manufacturing biofuels and converting biomass to energy.

Mpono believes with 60% of the population being young and more than half unemployed the development of viable green businesses could provide much needed jobs.

Education is also very important to him. “I want to say that maths and science don’t bite, that they will put food on the table. It is sad that so many of our matriculants fill benches in the human sciences and community development faculties rather than the science and engineering faculties. That’s where the future is.”

He is now a project director at 1Source, which is a specialised project developer with a focus on infrastructure, energy, agriculture, oil and gas. The company plays a key role in bringing government and the private sector together. “Government is tasked with building an enabling environment and business needs to align itself with this and fill in the gaps. Government doesn’t create jobs – business does,” said Mpono.

Towards the end of 2014 he won the inaugural under-35 Maverick Awards for Green Innovators.

For more info on the seminars visit or contact 083 714 4595 or 073 750 3246

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