We’ve started talking:

The Next Generation Industrialists Fair, hosted by the SABS Design Institute in Groenkloof, Pretoria last week included a panel discussion which opened up a dialogue between young industrialists with government officials and potential funders.

The development of next generation industrialists is a critical imperative as a response to the challenges of high youth unemployment and low entrepreneurship activity. This was the impetus behind the initiative of the Next Generation Industrialist Fair.

Young industrialists on the panel, Mzukisi Mbane (Imprint) and Shalton Mothwa (AEON) explained how they were mentored to develop their inventions from ideas to products, to markets in an accelerated manner. Other panellists were Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development, Mmadiboka Chokoe, executive manager of Enterprise & Supplier Development at Transnet, and Gavin Mageni, head of the Design Institute.

The panel welcomed questions from the floor and dealt with issues such as the time it takes for an idea to get to market and what should be done to cut through red tape.

The panel discussion was moderated by anchor woman Gugu Cele and will be broadcast on CNBC Africa in April. The broadcast will also include interviews that were conducted with key participants beforehand.