Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said at the opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Johannesburg this week‚ that business failure is often attributed to the lack of entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. In an answer to this the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) is strengthening small businesses in townships with a sponsored business programme.
Last week, 20 small business owners in townships of the Greater Cape Town area received their certificates for the successful completion of the sponsored Small Business Academy (SBA) programme of the USB.
The sponsored programme is an intensive nine-month course offered by the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), refines the knowledge of small-business owners in greater Cape Town. Its major funders are the Distell Foundation and ABSA. The SBA programme offers workshops and lectures in financial and business management, in labour legislation and HR issues, marketing, customer service and the use of social media. Each participant is mentored by an alumnus of USB – an approach which has proved to be one of the most valuable benefits of the programme.
Aashiqa Essop, a mother of three, was named the top student, for achieving the highest mark. She is the owner of the automotive electronic workshop, Magic Worx, which she runs together with her husband from their home in Brackenfell. Working in a very male-dominated industry has certainly not deterred Aashiqa; in fact, it has made her work even harder.
Business with the most potential
Philippi small business owner Phumlani Dlongwana is making a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions of landfill sites in the City of Cape Town. And by doing so he is creating a sustainable livelihood for some members of poorer communities with his Waste to Food business. Applying advanced technology and earthworm hammocks, his business converts food waste and clipped garden waste into compost.