Youth unemployment is one of South Africa’s troublesome challenges, made worse by Covid-19. Prior to the pandemic, youth unemployment was sitting at 43.5%. A stagnant economy coupled with the multidimensionality of poverty limits their ability to seek employment and the means to take up training. Connecting to work opportunities is almost impossible too. With this in mind, Food Security Non-Profit organisation, Ladles of Love, is launching the Realise A Dream (RAD) competition for young food-producing entrepreneurs.
With prizes valued at over R500,000 three lucky winners will receive assistance to jump start their new or existing businesses. Training, business support and capital equipment will be invested to help them realise their dream of starting or growing a food enterprise. Young chefs, bakers and food artisans between 18-34 years old with new or existing food businesses are invited to enter now.
Respected local food experts and well-known chefs from the judging panel including Mokgadi Itsweng, Zola Nene and Woolworths TASTE Food Director, Abigail Donnelly . “We are looking for young food entrepreneurs who have a ‘yearn to earn’ and great business concepts. They may have a food business idea that they want to get off the ground or may have started a small business already. It has to be food-related, a product that can be packaged and sold. It can be anything from bottling vegan smoothies to smoking meats to baking bread.
Our aim is to accelerate their businesses and help them successfully transition into the marketplace, and importantly show them how to make a positive impact in food security.” says Ladles of Love trustee and top chef, Mokgadi Itsweng.
In order to win, contestants need to complete an entry form and a 1–2 minute WhatsApp video presentation detailing their business, product and dream. From there, 10 finalists are chosen. They will be coached by business professionals to perfect their pitch for the judges at the V&A Makers Landing food business incubation hub.
“Although there are only 3 winners, we are committed to setting each finalist up for success. With each of them receiving the same guidance and coaching, they will all be on an equal playing field to pitch their product to the RAD judges and grow their business concepts and product offering. The end goal is to address youth unemployment by providing all contestants with the best chance at realising their dream” says Alison McCutcheon, Marketing Director at Ladles of Love.
Ten top finalists will be selected and will face the judges on 16 June 2021. The judges will assess their product innovation, business plan and feasibility. The three winners will work closely with their appointed industry mentors to accelerate their businesses.
Prizes include business and product incubation at the V&A Makers Landing, a subscription to Heavy Chefs education platform, Over The Rainbow brand identity development, PNA stationery vouchers, kitchen equipment and much more.
Entry Criteria, the RAD entrants must:
Be 18 – 34 years old
Be Entrepreneurial Spirited with a Dream of owning or growing their own business
Have CV with at least a Grade 11
Be Computer Literate
Own a Smartphone
Have Experience as a Chef with speciality
Be producing, making or baking food products
Own an existing small business or have a plan for a new business
Have a developed product
The RAD competition is also an opportunity for individuals and corporates to invest in enterprise development by contributing to the Ladles of Love Social Enterprise Development programme. For as little as a R200.00 donation or a corporate SED investment, partnerships can be tailored to support this fund and the Realise A Dream young food entrepreneurs competition.
Ladles of Love founder, Danny Diliberto concludes “ Through our on-the-ground work at Ladles of Love, we have realised that the fight against hunger is so much more than providing nutritious meals. Finding lasting solutions means the community needs to be empowered and employed. So our skills development programmes have been created with this mind.
Your donation will be invested in the training, equipment and mentorship of young food entrepreneurs who are determined to be the best they can be. We believe that with the right will and focus, projects like RAD are one of best ways to respond to the challenge of youth unemployment in our country.”