Over the past weekend Facebook hosted their Youth Enterprise and Skills day, which was held at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg.

The event was attended by more than 300 young entrepreneurs and marketers, and falls in line with Facebook’s focus on educating young people about the employment and entrepreneurship opportunities afforded to them in the digital world.

“Our aim is to drive a positive social and economic impact across South Africa and there can be no better way to achieve that goal than by helping to equip future generations with the skills they need to thrive in a digital age,” explained public policy lead from Facebook, Emilar Ghandi.

Furthermore Facebook say that the aim of the event was to inspire South African youth on how to build and grow their businesses through leveraging digital marketing and the range of job opportunities available through digital platforms.

The social media company highlighted the importance of digital skills and jobs to the economy, pointing to a recent survey conducted by Living Facts which found that 62 percent of youth felt negatively about their employment prospects in South Africa, yet only half were aware of the employment opportunities offered by the digital industry.

Added to this Development Economics explains that secondary digital skills jobs could add R12.5 billion to the economy and will result in a total of 6.4 million jobs by 2029.

“With our research showing that 58 percent of respondents plan to start their own business in the future, digital skills will be vital for these young entrepreneurs to thrive,” added Ghandi.

The event also had panel discussions, fireside chat and question and answer sessions where attendees heard from young small business owners that have used Facebook platforms to grow and reach new audiences.

The company concluded by providing information about Facebook Blueprint, which is a global training and certification program about marketing on Facebook and Instagram. It also provides tools such as Boost Your Business, and events that assist businesses with the most up-to-date-tools, insights and best practices for achieving success on the firm’s platforms.