Our Flagship Event
The BYM summit was the most anticipated event for young social entrepreneurs. Every year, up to 100 new young leaders, between the ages of 20 -32 years of age, were selected to attend the summit. The selection process was ‘blind’, in the sense that the panel did not know your name, age, race or location; it was a tough and rigorous process, with those only the demonstrating the highest level of quality, leadership and positive impact to society were chosen.
These candidates got to attend an intense 5-day summit. Each year the summit had a different theme, which was influence by the prevailing sentiments with society or the local and global economic climates. Delegates got to teach and inspire each other and, most importantly, act together to come up with ideas and practically implementable solutions to help try to solve society’s issues. Delegates got to be inspired by established leaders, which in the past have included the like of the now-late Ahmed Kathrada, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, Michael Jordaan, Ketso Gordhan and many more.
The delegates participated in leadership development and lean start-up methodology up-skilling. Beyond the summit, delegates used those skills to improve their efforts to change the world. The culmination of the summit is a team challenge, in which the delegates apply their new skills as they work in teams to design practical solutions to social challenges in the form of sustainable initiatives or businesses with a social impact. With all the viable solutions, BYM would help connect them to the marketplace to develop there solution further.
Just providing some examples of the solutions BYM’ers (delegates) had designed, were solar powered technologies, worked on genetically modifying microscopic worms to disinfect water, innovative technologies, successfully lobbied for policy systems to support entrepreneurship, launched their own radio stations and designed revolutionary township schools.
After the summit, delegates officially become part of the BYM network and became “BYM Alumni” who have access to things like intra-network mentorship, leadership development, networking, meet-ups and webinars and in some instances access to funding and business support. Alumni can also volunteer to assist the BYM Board in the execution of operational activities.
Past summits were held in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Sandton. Some of the JSE listed companies, just naming a few, have sponsored BYM: Anglo American, MTN, Barclays, Absa. If you are interest in becoming a volunteer or “BYM Associate”, partnering with BYM or sponsoring the organisation, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or use the ‘Contact Us’ form on the site. Please also reach out to us, if there is any content that you have from a past summit that you attended, that you would like showcased on this site.
Some key quotes from past delegates:
“It helped me understand what the market was looking for in young professionals.”
“I was able to discern another individual’s method of thinking or logic, without imposing my own. It’s helped manage people / staff, think creatively, be solutions oriented & resolve conflict.”
“Great networking experience that led to direct career growth and also attractive funding opportunity for our NGO.”
“A professional & social network as well as reputable companies and individuals that I have since used at my work place.”
“I made a lot of connections and expanded my network within Africa which has helped me in my career and personal growth.”
Some Past Speakers SPEAKERS
When Siyabulela Xuza was a young child, he almost set his mother’s kitchen on fire while experimenting with homemade rocket fuel. To date, he has garnered worldwide acclaim for that same rocket fuel, has presented in front of dignitaries such as Steve Wozniak and Michelle Obama, met the King of Sweden and attended a Nobel Prize ceremony. Oh, and he has a minor planet named after him at age 25. His thesis at Harvard centered on creating a storage platform based on micro fuel cells and based on this he is currently developing a sustainable model for energy storage based on micro fuel cells in South Africa.
Ketso is committed to addressing inequality through business. Among other things, he voluntarily took a ZAR 1 million pay cut and convinced his top 60 managers to take pay freezes in order to be able to decrease inequality within his firm. Prior to serving as the CEO of PPC Cement, Ketso was the Executive Director of Private Equity at FirstRand Limited. His most recent role was as an Advisor to the Minister in the Presidency, responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.
Awethu was conceived by Yusuf Randera-Rees while at Oxford University and has been operating for the past five years. It aims to become the world’s best business partner to talented entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities, and has been recognised as one of the world’s most innovative social enterprises. Awethu has already created over 350 jobs, lists Archbishop Desmond Tutu as its Patron, and is now scaling rapidly with significant support from the South African Government.
Yusuf attended Oxford as a South African Rhodes Scholar, and before that worked in a volatility trading group at Credit Suisse in New York and Zurich. He grew up in Johannesburg before getting his AB (Honors) in Economics from Harvard University. That said, he’s a passionate South African who grew up in Joburg and has barely left Braamfontein for the past five years! For more information on his project, visit www.awethuproject.co.za.
The now late Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada (21 August 1929 – 28 March 2017), sometimes known by the nickname “Kathy”, was a South African politician and anti-apartheid activist. Kathrada’s involvement in the anti-apartheid activities of the African National Congress (ANC) led him to his long-term imprisonment following the Rivonia Trial, in which he was held at Robben Island and Pollsmoor Prison. Following his release in 1990, he was elected to serve as a member of parliament, representing the ANC. He authored a book, No Bread for Mandela – Memoirs of Ahmed Kathrada, Prisoner No. 468/64.