Nurturing entrepreneurship key to youth employment - CNBC Africa

Nurturing entrepreneurship key to youth employment

Southern Africa

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South Africa is home to a number of young entrepreneurs. PHOTO: Getty Images

South Africa’s unemployment rate has risen to 25.5 per cent for the second quarter of the year, according to Statistics South Africa, with youth unemployment currently sitting at 36 per cent.

“The comparison between youth and adults revealed that the unemployment rate among youth was almost 20,0 percentage points higher than among adults, 36.1 per cent compared with 16.3 per cent, while both the absorption rate and labour force participation rates were more than 20 percentage points higher among adults than among youth in the second quarter of 2014,” Statistics South Africa said in a statement.

(READ MORE: S.Africa's unemployment up 0.3 per cent in Q2)

In the second quarter of 2014, men and women between the ages of 25 to 35 years old represented the highest demographic of the country’s unemployed population.

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South Africa is nevertheless a home ground for a number of young entrepreneurs, including Ludwick Marishane, founder and managing director of Headboy Industries. Headboy Industries is well-known for its invention of DryBath, the world’s first bath substituting gel.

(READ MOREEntrepreneurship, Africa's solution to job creation)

DryBath was however Marishane’s sixth business idea at the time. His other ideas included entering the biofuel industry, publishing industry and healthy cigarette creation, but found difficulty in breaking ground with them.

“After six months of researching gels, lotions, hand sanitizers, how they work, how they’re made, I basically formulated the ingredients to make DryBath, and only had enough money to make the first prototype three years later. It didn’t work as expected. It took away odour and it cleaned the person up but it would flake on the skin,” Marishane explained.

Marishane’s formula was then perfected with the help of Hennie du Plessis, a chemical engineer and currently the project manager of DryBath.

DryBath now sells 2,000 to 3,000 units per month, with 90 per cent of the product being exported oversees between the United States, Europe and the rest of the world.

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