Standard Bank’s investment in the Universities South Africa (USAf) Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) programme has led to the establishment of Economic Activation Offices (EAO) at 10 South African public universities. EAOs prepare university students for entrepreneurship, helping young South Africans identify independent business opportunities and reducing dependence on the country’s constrained job market.

“The creation of small businesses across South Africa can help unlock our country’s economic potential, and combat persistent unemployment,” says Ben Pretorius, Head of the Education Sector at Standard Bank. Currently, however, “the resources available to entrepreneurs are often not suitable for start-ups, or just too expensive, or unsupported, in the ideation phase,” he adds.

As part of Standard Bank’s education initiatives for 2022 and beyond, the African financial services group is looking to enable and equip young entrepreneurs with the right tools and support to actively develop and grow their own businesses, as an alternative to formal employment,” says Pretorius.