Samsung SA aims to tackle youth unemployment

Mixed Talents campaign launched to address youth unemployment in creative way

Effective use of technology is critical if South Africa is to reduce the unacceptably high levels of unemployment levels amongst South Africa’s youth.

That is the view of Michelle Potgieter, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung SA, who says that research* conducted by Samsung into South African Millennials aged 18 – 35 affected by unemployment reveals that 49% of respondents feel they have good business ideas but don’t know to capitalise on these ideas.

South Africa has one of the highest jobless rates globally, which is continuing to rise, according to the recently released Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS)**. It showed that the national unemployment rate increased by half a percent to 25.5% in the second quarter of 2015. The figure is especially high amongst the youth at 36%.

Potgieter says that as part of its efforts to address the issue of youth unemployment, Samsung has launched the Samsung Mixed Talents campaign, which seeks to bring together experts from across the talent spectrum to create meaningful solutions to this challenge. These include two of the country’s brightest minds – Executive Coach Carol Koffman and Property Entrepreneur Jonathan Liebmann.

“Mixed Talents” forms part of Samsung’s global “Launching People” campaign, which identifies inspiring individuals and with Samsung’s support and access to advanced technology, demonstrates how the impossible can become reality. She says the expert pair are currently developing a solution with the support of South Africans and Samsung technology and this will be unveiled in February 2016.

As part of this campaign, Samsung recently hosted a series of panel discussions with a number of leading professionals and entrepreneurs to unpack the issue of youth unemployment. It was agreed that more needs to be done to support entrepreneurship and encourage small enterprise to create jobs rather than rely on large corporations, whose focus is on streamlining efficiencies in the current economic climate.

Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) lecturer, Morris Mthombeni, agreed that technology is probably Africa’s best hope for a meaningful economic and entrepreneurship revolution as it can reach so many people, especially the youth.

“Initiatives like Mixed Talents are key to enabling the country’s youth with a way to enter the world of ideas through innovation and reach more people than traditional methods,” said Xhanti Payi, an Economist at Nascent Research. “There’s no better time than now to find creative solutions for unemployment, especially in countries like ours where we are so limited to capital.”

“Young people are not sharing in the prosperity of our beautiful ‘Rainbow Nation’ and suffer the most from unemployment,” said millennial blogger and social entrepreneur, Bongani Tshabalala. “We need to inspire them and create a culture of ingenuity. They need expertise, mentorship and guidance in developing and launching businesses. We need to help connect them with the resources and support they need to go from ideation to creation.”

“Our hope for the campaign is a new way of solving an existing problem,” said Potgieter. “This is an exciting journey that we believe will make a difference through the transformative power of technology. Samsung’s culture of innovation is reaching beyond product to help people realise their potential.”

For more information on the campaign visit: and follow #MixedTalents

*Samsung commissioned Masutane Consulting Services to conduct online research into over 300 young South Africans from ages 18 – 35 to gauge their perceptions on a range of issues. The research was entitled “Project Youth Debrief”.

**The QLFS was released by Statistics South Africa for the second quarter of 2015. 


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