Gareth Taylor heads up the programme that provides real-world training and support to entrepreneurs that want to grow and formalise their businesses. He has spent the past three years with Awethu passionately working on designing and implementing practical, entrepreneurial solutions to the unemployment crisis in South Africa. Prior to joining the Awethu Project, Gareth was executive head of an entrepreneurial division within Vox Telecom before joining IQ Business as a management consultant.
Why did I join the Awethu Project?
I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to start my own business. However, after finishing school, I decided it would be prudent and get a degree behind my name before embarking on my career. After completing my BCom, I joined Vox Telecom where I was given the opportunity to spend around 6 months in different divisions in order to fulfil my career objective of being prepared to be CEO of an organisation one day.
I was not quite confident enough to start my own business after Vox so I joined IQ Business, a management consulting company, in order to gain more on-the-job business experience. Whilst at IQ, I saw a job ad on LinkedIn for my dream job, the ability to assist and support under-resourced entrepreneurs to make a sustainable living for themselves. It was a no-brainer with the right mix of entrepreneurship exposure along with the opportunity to empower other South Africans to improve their lives sustainably through entrepreneurship.
I applied to join the same day and joined the team 3 months later. This has been without a doubt the best career move I could ever have made!
What progress has there been since joining Awethu?
Since joining Awethu, I’ve:
Worked with a cohort of over 30 entrepreneurs to grow their businesses
Headed up the Corporate Startup and Pure Startup Programmes
Designed and managed the disbursement process that enable us to disburse seed capital to hundreds of Entrepreneurs in our programme
Managed our Shared Services function
Headed up the Micro Business Incubator where I am now responsible for a team of 20
Awethu has been my business school for the past three years and senior team members with a wealth of experience and varying skill-sets, my professors. If you’re looking to make a move to an agile, entrepreneurial environment that will catapult your career, then you shoud definitely consider joining the Awethu Project.