The National Development Plan (NDP) outlines that 90% of new jobs will be created through entrepreneurship and the expansion of companies by 2030.
Microsoft has expanded its Equity Equivalent Programme (EEP), established in 2011, with three independent software vendors (ISVs) recently joining the programme and extending its reach to entrepreneurial enterprises operating in the technology sector.

The three businesses are Astel Systems, immedia studio, and Meniko Records Management Services, and these business owners will be exposed to new opportunities to grow and learn.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) previously commented that the programme had the potential to boost transformation within the South African ICT sector – and that it was on track to drive the shared vision of creating a strong home-grown South African software industry.

“Entrepreneurship is the solution to unemployment,” says Zoaib Hoosen, MD of Microsoft South Africa. “Our focus as a leader in the technology sector is to ensure we remain focused on supporting innovation and developing skills.”
He went on to add, “It is imperative that the entrepreneurs have the necessary skills to succeed. Running your own business is incredibly challenging, and can be a lonely journey to undertake. It is through collaboration, exposure and nurturing that these ISVs will gain the tools they require to succeed and the EEP can play an important role in this formative journey.”

The IT sector is poised to make a significant impact on the local economy. According to IDC’s report titled “The Economic Impact of IT, Software and Microsoft in South Africa”, the IT sector will generate more than 77 200 new jobs over the next four years whilst the software sector will create 54 200 new jobs over the same period.

Hoosen adds that the EEP aims to ensure that these new jobs are created through the development of entrepreneurs in the sector. “Besides the new positions being created, we can also look forward to novel solutions, products, and services coming from the companies operating within the technology sector.”

Astel Systems is a software solutions company that primarily focuses on cloud, telecoms and utility industries. Alkesh Singh, managing director, founded the company after gaining more than 20 years’ experience developing and implementing billing solutions across Europe, South America, the Middle-East, Caribbean and Africa.

Meniko Records Management Services delivers solutions in the document and records management industry and prides itself on creating customer-centric solutions for its clients. The company is headed up by Neo Moloele, who has been successful in growing Meniko’s customer base by focusing on customers in the private- and public sectors and positioning the company as a thought leader in its market.

South African app development consultancy immedia studio specialises in creating post-PC solutions (tablet and smartphone applications) for some of South Africa’s leading brands. The company was founded by Anice Hassim, who believes that technology will help us transform communities, the country and continent.

“In order to create a culture of entrepreneurship in the technology sector we need to ensure that the youth of South Africa are exposed to the incredible success of our most talented minds. As we move into June and acknowledge
Youth Day on 16 June, let us focus our attention to inspiring young minds through having a conversation related to entrepreneurship and innovation. It will be the adoption of this mind-set that will help initiatives such as the EEP to continue making a meaningful impact,” Hoosen says.