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Call for South African entrepreneurs to participate in the Africa-Asia Business Partnership Forum

The University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (UP-GIBS) Entrepreneurship Development Academy (EDA) in collaboration with Akita International University, Japan and Michigan State University, USA is pleased to announce a call to South African entrepreneurs to the Africa-Asia Business Partnership Forum. The collaborative empowerment and innovation project is funded by the Alliance for African Partnerships (AAP) and the Toshiba International Foundation in a collective effort to empower young entrepreneurs that are operating within the broader agribusiness sector in South Africa on their entrepreneurial journeys.
Call for South African entrepreneurs to participate in the Africa-Asia Business Partnership Forum

The Africa-Asia Partnership Forum seeks to develop the capacity of the next generation of leaders that are interested in developing business partnerships between Africa and Japan to promote the sustainable development of Africa. This next generation of entrepreneurial leaders, particularly those in Africa, will, through the forum, acquire skills to create and develop high-growth, high-employment ventures which will strengthen the Africa-Japan ties through the formation of networks.

The 18 months initiative which will kick off in September 2021, seeks to bring together 15 entrepreneurs from the two countries (10 from South Africa and 5 from Japan) to promote collective learning and empowerment of young entrepreneurs, to create opportunities for co-innovation of collaborative business ventures. This will be facilitated through hybrid workshops (a combination of virtual and in-person interactions) and exchange visits between South Africa and Japan.

The Africa-Asia Business Partnership Forum will offer programme participants a fully funded experience of collaborative activities in aid of their entrepreneurial journeys. They will get an opportunity to co-design and innovate collaborative business ventures through practical activities in South Africa and Japan designed to provide empowerment that will enable entrepreneurial innovation. Participants will also gain exposure to different business environments to provide insights for further development of current entrepreneurial activities. Through virtual and in-person exchanges, participants will have an opportunity to collectively learn with entrepreneurs operating in different socio-cultural contexts.

The criteria for eligibility into the programme and the conditions for participation are as follows:
  • Must be a South African resident aged between 25 and 45 years old (you will have to submit an identity document).
  • Own a registered small business that is operating within the broader agribusiness sector in South Africa, employing at least five employees and having operated for at least three years (you will have to submit proof of company registration).
  • Must be willing to travel to Japan for 3-4 weeks in 2022 if the Covid-19 situation permits (international travel will be fully funded by the project for the beneficiaries).
  • Ability to proficiently speak and write English.
  • Must be willing to present and discuss your business challenges for discussion in workshops to promote learning for the group.
  • In possession of at least a post-secondary education qualification from a recognised institution (you will submit proof of qualifications).
  • Have an interest in promoting business partnerships between Africa and Asia.
  • Commitment to actively participate in the workshops and group sessions, responding to surveys before and/or after workshops, preparing brief reports on your participation experience and travel to Japan for the project activities.
There are only 10 available spots for South Africans who meet the qualifying criteria. The online application form can be accessed and completed here. Applications close at midnight on 13 August 2021.

Please note: The submitted online applications will be screened to ensure that they comply with the eligibility criteria. The shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a selection panel comprising of the Asia-Africa Business Partnership Forum project team and experts with Africa-Asia business partnership experience. For more information on the Call of Applications, please contact Dr Farai Kapfudzaruwa (

For media enquiries, contact the EDA’s Marketing Manager, Faiza Mallick at az.oc.sbig@fkcillam

10 Aug 2021 14:07


Press Office