Samsung SA aims to tackle youth unemployment

Nov 25. 2015

Mixed Talents campaign launched to address youth unemployment in creative way

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 25 November, 2015 – 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.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies, redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. We are also leading in the Internet of Things space through, among others, our Smart Home and Digital Health initiatives. We employ 319,000 people across 84 countries with annual sales of US $196 billion. To discover more, please visit our official website at and our official blog at

For further information, please contact:

Rachel Lailey

Epic MSL Group

011 784 4790

083 730 2000

Jake Griffioen

Samsung Electronics South Africa

011 549

071 671 2052

About the Expert: Carol Koffman

In May 2001, Carol and a partner started 7i, an organisational design specialist aimed at improving performance. She then started a career in consulting after working in the UK where she discovered her passion for HR. She was one of the first lecturers at the Wits Business School, Public and Development Management School (PDM) and was involved in developing a new HR development programme for several of its management programmes. She also served as Director for Independent Mediation Services of South Africa. Carol is a trained counselling psychologist.

About the Millennial: Jonathan Liebmann

Following a series of entrepreneurial ventures, Jonathan Liebmann founded Propertuity in 2008, with a vision to create a well-designed and affordable integrated urban offering. This was the beginning of the development of the Maboneng neighbourhood and the company has since acquired over a square kilometre of property in the area and attracted over 1,500 new residents and businesses. It is about to begin its first property venture in the Durban CBD. Jonathan graduated from Monash University with a BComm in Accounting in 2004. He has spoken at TEDxStellenbosch in 2011 and has participated in the World Economic Forum. He was one of Forbes’ top 30 entrepreneurs under 30 in 2012 and 2013 and a Mail & Guardian top 200 young South Africans in 2010.