Pearl Maphumulo: Telling African Youth Entrepreneurship Stories’

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 A World Economic Forum on Africa 2015 delegate, Pearl Maphumulo has been selected as one of the youngest South Africans to speaker at the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC).

The GEC 2017 will take place from the 13th – 15th March in the heartbeat of South Africa, Johannesburg – a budding start-up hub that is both an economic and cultural point of the country and which promises to build on the successes of previous host cities: Medellin, Milan, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Liverpool, Shanghai, Dubai and Kansas City where it was launched in 2009 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Pearl,  co-author of the Africa80 book, business columnist and Managing Director of The Business Development Agency, will be speaking on the 14th March during a parallel session under the theme ‘Telling African Youth Entrepreneurship Stories’ (Link:

In 2016 she was selected by Dutch Foundation Building Bridges as South African youth ambassador for a project called ‘Road to Nairobi 2016′ [#RTNB2016] powered by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The project, running in eight African countries [South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda & Kenya] saw her travel to rural and township communities alike interacting with a myriad of youth entrepreneurs and trying to understand the challenges faced by them, possible solutions, as well as the SDGs they’re addressing.

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At the 2nd High Level Meeting in Nairobi this 2016 of the Global Partnership for Effective Development hosted by the Kenyan government, Pearl moderated a panel with leaders such as, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade & Development, Lillianne Ploumen, UN Policy Adviser & Action Campaign Regional Director, Sering Falu Njie, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kanini Kariuki & Mowgli Foundation CEO, Kathleen Bury.

She has also been on both local and continental media platforms such as SABC 1’s popular youth show, Mzansi Insider, ANN7’s Vuka Africa morning show with Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon, Africa Magic’s Good Morning Africa and online United Nations Women platform.

In 2015, she was chosen as one of 80 young Africans from over 30 countries to represent youth at the Annual World Economic Forum on Africa Summit in Cape Town, South Africa.

In the same year, Pearl represented South Africa in Dalian, China at the Annual Meeting of the new Champions, one of the biggest technology and innovation summits in the  world.

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Growing up in a small town called Emalahleni (Witbank), most widely known as one of the leading drug abuse areas in South Africa, Pearl has not only witnessed her peers & some family members being ravaged by drugs, but she’s always chosen to hold her belief that one day she’ll do something great regardless of her surroundings.

“Contributing to the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem started as a burning desire, not knowing I’d one day get an opportunity to be speaker in an assortment of global platforms addressing the very desire and the GEC is one of those platforms I highly esteem”, she said in excitement.

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