By Gilbert Nyambabvu
BIRMINGHAM: Award-winning entrepreneur Ruth Dhliwayo is this Saturday set to launch her Stenom Foundation in Harare which is aimed at helping reduce youth unemployment through skills development and awareness of social entrepreneurship.
The launch Gala Ball is scheduled for this Saturday at Harare’s Meikles Hotel with television presenter Curtly Gwindi as host.
Winner of the Young Professional award at the 2022 Zimbabwe Achievers Awards held in May in Birmingham, Dhliwayo heads a portfolio which includes project management, business consultancy, career coaching and also co-owns African Festival (Afrep).
Her foundation will help equip and empower young people to build the confidence required to start and grow businesses as well as transform communities.
Its work is aligned with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Zimbabwe government’s vision of achieving an upper middle-class economy by 2030.
“I truly believe young people are the solution,” said Dhliwayo.
“They are the powerhouse for change. After all, the future is ours and it is our duty that we are concerned about matters that threaten our future. We need to take responsibility for the world that we will inherit.”
She added; “Most people in Africa, and more specifically Zimbabwe, are youths and they are unemployed. Unemployment rates amongst this group is rising year on year.
“(However) unemployment is not just specific to Zimbabwe, even here in the UK, there are also significantly high numbers of youth unemployment but there are structures in place that help these young people in reducing the burden of financial hardship which unfortunately is not the privilege young people in Zimbabwe have.”
For Dhliwayo, the experience of supporting her family back home since she started working, as the norm for many Zimbabweans in the diaspora, emphasised the need to help come up tackle the challenge of youth unemployment
“Young people need support and capital to make their ideas a reality,” she said.
“They need expertise and mentorship to guide them in developing and launching their businesses; connect the young people with the resources, provide them with the support they need to go from ideation to creation.
“(We need to) help them to exercise the knowledge they so richly possess to apply it in solving matters that maintain and improve the future. Doing this, you create catalyst for urban growth.”
Dhliwayo has, over the years, become an inspiration to many, using her selflessness to help other aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs exploit their potential and achieve their dreams.
“I’ve always known that there is more for me, and so I’ve been very open to starting, failing, learning from many different ventures over the years,” she said.
She started her first tutoring company at the age of 16 and, while at university, went on to launch a successful transport recruitment company, getting bus drivers into employment – with no prior knowledge in the industry.
“Entrepreneurship empowers young people to be the creators of the very economic opportunities they are so desperately seeking, and you can train young people to be entrepreneurs,” she said.
Our generation is eager and hungrier than ever to create generational wealth for themselves and their children and their children’s children.
“So why don’t we fuel this ambition with opportunities, positive opportunities that will change the world?
“We need a culture shift in mindset to not only aspire to make money but aspire to bring about social change. We need to tap into the abundance of this generation.”
For more about Ruth Dhliwayo visit www.ruthkudzai.co.uk