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Meet Jade Wyngaardt, digital warrior and winner of the 2019 #YouthStartCT Challenge

3 July 2019

Jade Wyngaardt is passionate about digital, youth and social impact. The 30-year-old from Woodstock is the founder of Cape Town-based digital marketing agency Click Africa Digital and the winner of the City of Cape Town’s 2019 #YouthStartCT Entrepreneurial Challenge. We caught up with Jade this week to speak about #YouthStart and her plans for the future.

#YouthStartCT 2019 winner Jade Wyngaardt, right, receiving her prizes from the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

Tell us about Afriversity, your 2019 #YouthStartCT winning idea.

Afriversity is an idea we’ve been thinking about for a few years now. The concept is to provide real, credible experience and teaching to graduates or anyone interested in the digital landscape. Our initiative teaches youth and those with functional disabilities how to code, design websites and run marketing campaigns for small businesses in their communities. As part of the programme, we give young people access to real client portfolios in the form of small business owners, many of whom have limited budgets. At the end of the training programme, graduates are either recruited in-house with the small business clients they are working on or could be placed in roles offered by partner agencies in Cape Town.

What is your vision for Afriversity?

The vision is to have a school, like a Red & Yellow or a AAA School of Advertising, to teach digital skills that can be implemented in the small business sector. There are so many constraints in digital for youth of colour and small businesses. We are trying to address that through the Afriversity concept.

How has the challenge helped you?

It has refined our concept. The #YouthStartCT Challenge is such an intricate process. It helps the entrepreneur solve problems and answer key questions – questions around viability and the market. Even though I understood all of these things, the challenge allowed me to articulate it and structure it in a way that made sense for all the segments, also in terms of scaling.

Were you convinced that you would win?

Initially, when I submitted the idea, I was like ‘yes, I’m going to win this’, but then I saw all the other ideas and the calibre of people that were there, and then thought, ‘okay, maybe not’. I started to listen to what other people were introducing and it was great – some were established businesses already, some were just in the concept phase, but had really solid concepts. When I started to understand everyone else and what they were bringing and how they were solving problems, that’s when I realised it was anyone’s game.

The trainers were very good at preparing us. So if you had applied that knowledge, you would most likely make it through that round. The adjudicators also changed every week, so you couldn’t build on what you did last week. You had to really focus and apply what was taught every week. That was challenging and fun.

Why do you think the judges chose your idea? What do you think clinched it?

My final presentation. I kind of went in guns blazing. I pulled out all the stops.

The last week of the challenge was about the entrepreneur. I was very focused on my business and the business idea in the weeks prior. At the last pitching session, I was like okay, this is who I am, this is who you’re subscribing to when you name me the winner.

I’ve been battling with cancer throughout my entrepreneurial journey and didn’t want that to affect everything else up until that point. I was glad that it was structured the way it was, with the story of the entrepreneur at the end, because I didn’t want to base my idea and the concept on my journey.

I'm always looking for ways to impact. My agency's tagline is 'the people's agency', so our focus is how we are going to impact people in general. As young people, we can action change. Three days before the final pitch, I attended an event with the President, and he said that the youth should be actioning change, and that motivated me to go in there and deliver that final pitch.

You are always seeking to inspire others. What motivates you?

I’m inspired by my family. My source of inspiration is my Creator and everything I do is a reflection of Him. My drive and passion comes from a spiritual place.

What is your message to other young people?

A lot of times young people have great ideas, but we don’t take any action. I understand that it could be as a result of fear, rejection or a lack of confidence. But take courage, believe in yourself and just do it, even if it’s on a small scale. Test the concept. Reach out and don’t be afraid.

Read Jade’s story featured on Beautiful News here.

About the #YouthStartCT Challenge

The #YouthStartCT Entrepreneurial Challenge is aimed at giving budding entrepreneurs a hand up, stimulating job creation and supporting the building of capacity among youth. The challenge also provides young Cape Town entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 with an opportunity to start a business or grow one. The programme supports entrepreneurs in commercialising, monetising and expanding their businesses through its practical training and mentorship programme.