The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Women and Youth in Rural Entrepreneurship (WYRE) programme: Update – By Dr Kathy Hurly

Kwanalu WYRE was launched in October 2021and saw the first entrepreneurial training take place in November with 80 women, with the average age 21.


The objective of this initial training was to move the participants from a poverty mindset to the mindset of that of a leader, to take ownership of their lives, their money, their role in their communities and to apply their skills in their businesses or community projects. Leadership (ubuholi) requires all of us to write our own stories, with our own pens and not to give our pens (power) away to anyone.


The groups leadership skills emerged with the choice of their community projects, addressing critical issues like teenage pregnancy, drug dependency in the youth, negative mindsets in unemployed youth and cleaning up of communities and to address dumping.


Out of this group, 11 people with business experience were selected to take their businesses to the next step and also to learn the skills and knowledge required to mentor other businesses in their rural area.


Over the months of December and January these certified Economic Development practitioners will be able to support 55 businesses.


Some of the comments of this business mentorship course:

  • “It was life changing”
  • “I will be able to empower people who really want to work for themselves”
  • “I want to use my knowledge to change the mindset of my community”
  • “I am a different person now”
  • “I now know how important it is to separate my business and private money”


“Kwanalu WYRE changed the mindset of 80 young women; 8 community projects are in development, 11 women were trained in business mentorship and provided the resources to support between 55 and 110 businesses within the next two months, employing between 275 to 550 people and impacting between 1 460 and 2 010 lives.


Kwanalu believes that WYRE will restore dignity to women and youth in rural areas by acting as the catalyst to economic activity providing them with the resources to start and develop businesses that will alleviate poverty and contribute to rural safety and security for all,” says Dr Hurly.