Young Talent Builds Growth - Before you get big, start small

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There’s a global move to connect SMEs and young talent, starting here in South Africa. The likes of Richard Branson and Elon Musk have won by betting on young talent. You should too.

 “We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not”

Who said this?

Well, it’s the same person that made the following statement: “You know I actually remember very specifically the night that I launched Facebook … it was not like, oh I hope we can turn this into something big. In my mind there was no way this is going to be us. It was going to be someone else we are just college students” – Mark Zuckerberg.

Mark Zuckerberg’s creation of Facebook is a remarkably rare event. However, it is not as isolated as one might think. Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Larry Page & Sergey Brin are all examples of exceptional entrepreneurs that were young when they started their businesses. Richard Branson published his first magazine when he was 16! There are countless similar examples which, because they are not at billion dollar scales, go unnoticed.

Today, technology and globalisation make success stories like the ones above more likely than ever. Unfortunately, many promising SMEs are missing out on this remarkable opportunity for growth and outsized returns. Surveys show time and again that access to talent, technology and savvy business development are huge pain-points for SMEs. Ironically, our young people, many of whom are the savviest users of technology and social media, are disillusioned by how education connects them to the business world. This is a challenge, but also a great opportunity.

We at Mintor are fortunate to witness the power of South Africa’s amazing young talent on a daily basis. We are part of an expanding group of companies and individuals that include the likes of Andela, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Spark Global, Silicon Cape’s Vinny Lingham and organisations like the SME Toolkit. This group believes that the future will be shaped by SMEs and youth.

Case studies

This is our mission at Mintor, and we see it in action every day. Here’s a few case studies:

  1. Panorama Lodge, a small local guesthouse, got a website developed at half the standard cost which finally gave them a much needed digital presence - in a market increasingly dominated by large firms with huge marketing budgets.
  2. A research house client of Mintor met their targets twice as fast due to our student’s creativity in helping them use social media to drive lead acquisition.
  3. PenTravel, another Mintor user, chose a student over a professional content marketing firm, because of their apt writing style and target market intuition.
  4. An events company needed marketing and sales support at last minute. Within 24 hours we had students sourced and confirmed for the job - making their event a runaway success.

The stories go on to validate how young people provide the optimal mix of enthusiasm, creativity, technology and digital-media savvy that SMEs are in most need of.

We are more excited than ever about the prospects. Thousands of students are on Mintor’s books and hundreds of local businesses have joined us over the last several months to recruit interns and graduates. Productive matches like the ones above are happening more easily and rapidly.

We believe that many of you reading this are building the large companies of tomorrow. The talented youth of South Africa look forward to joining you on this journey. Visit us at to hear more stories like the ones above and join thousands of individuals who are building big things while starting small.



Article provided by Mintor South Africa

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