Cape Town – Cape Town-born young South African entrepreneur Jamie Thurston Wyngaard is committed to alleviating poverty by mentoring young people and developing an entrepreneurial mindset.
Wyngaard, 30, an alumnus of the University of Western Cape (UWC), is the director of his own development consultancy oncept called The Agency.
He has received multiple awards for entrepreneurship and social responsibility and was named Student Achiever of the Year in 2011 by UWC, where he studied biotechnology.
Wyngaard is a mentor to Teen Entrepreneur, a nonprofit that aims to cultivate and promote the entrepreneurship among high school students across South Africa.
He also has his own television program, Being The Business, which airs on Cape Town TV to help entrepreneurs improve their business. Wyngaard says he started the show to create a platform for success-minded business people to apply for free assistance.
“We’re the solution-seeking forum that openly discusses the lackluster drama and complications in the lives of established business owners behind the scenes,” he says.
But his journey to where he is was not entirely smooth.
In a recent interview with the University of the Western Cape, Wyngaard said it was not easy to grow up in the Cape Flats, one of the most violent and dangerous places in South Africa. After his father, the sole breadwinner of the family, died while Wyngaard was still in high school, his financial situation deteriorated.
“My mother was a housewife and the loss of our comfort taught me how to get creative and forced me to find ways to secure the lifestyle we were used to,” he said.
During his studies, Wyngaard started his own business and had to juggle his studies with making money, the latter having become very necessary as no one else was employed in the household.
The hills and valleys he encountered along the way didn’t stop him from scooping up numerous awards for entrepreneurship and social responsibility.
He also discovered that he had lied to himself when he thought he could put his studies aside for a while, make money, and then go back to finish his studies, which he ultimately never did.
“I’ve learned that you don’t necessarily study science to become a scientist. You study science to learn how to think like a scientist and apply that in everyday situations to creatively solve problems, ”Wyngaard told UWC.
“For me, solving problems is creativity. My creative journey was about tackling and solving problems and then turning those solutions into business. “
Wyngaard says 75% of businesses don’t make it past the first five years because most entrepreneurs don’t realize that being their own boss is harder than they realize.
African News Agency (ANA)