By Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities:
The Western Cape Government, in partnership with the University of the Western Cape and ABSA, have embarked on province-wide campaign to equip 1 000 entrepreneurs with the business strategy skills they need to grow their enterprises.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, attended the launch of the Emerging Business Support programme at the University of the Western Cape on Friday (28 August 2015).
Entrepreneurs across the province are invited to participate in an intense two-day business strategy course, which is run by UWC facilitators.
The course will focus on the development of strategies in the following areas:
- Business Strategy Development
- Marketing and Sales Strategy Development
- Operations Strategy Development
- Financial Strategy Development
This initiative seeks to boost the skills of local entrepreneurs so that they can identify new opportunities and develop strategies to maximise their business’s growth.
The programme is scheduled to be rolled out from September to December 2015. Provision has been made to train businesses from all five district municipalities and the Cape Metropole. To improve the uptake and accessibility of the course, the training will take place across the province.
South Africa has one of the lowest start-up survival rates. Only 3% of start-ups survive beyond 3 years and one of the contributing factors is low business skills of business owners.
Minister Winde said the province was already bucking the national trend, adding that the skills strategy sessions complemented the Western Cape Government’s suite of business support services.
“According to the latest Ventureburn Startup Survey, two-thirds of South Africa’s startups are based in the Western Cape. In this province, our number one goal is the creation of opportunities for economic growth and jobs. We know that small businesses are important job creators and we need to create the right environment for them to thrive.
“To do so, we work to reduce red tape, facilitate access to funding and prioritise the roll-out of economic infrastructure, such as broadband. The Emerging Business Support Programme will take skills development to entrepreneurs and I want to encourage small businesses to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Minister Winde.
Professor Tyrone Pretorius, UWC Vice-Chancellor said: “As an academic institution with deep-rooted community ties, UWC feels privileged to be part of this journey that will empower budding entrepreneurs in the Western Cape. In order for South Africa to progress, it is imperative that institutions – private sector, government and academia -work in collaboration to equip our people with the necessary skills, training and support to foster a culture of success and growth. The importance of this initiative cannot be understated as the success of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs)has the potential to make a substantial impact on economic growth and job creation in our communities.”
The course is a partnership between government, academia and business. Banking giant Absa is an official partner in the programme.
Doug Walker, Managing Executive, Absa Cape Region, said: “As a bank we recognise the vital role SMEs play in economic growth and job creation.”
“However, we are also aware that SMEs experience a high failure rate mainly due to lack of business and financial management skills and often struggle to penetrate existing markets or creating new ones, especially when competing against established businesses. As a result, Absa aims to open doors for SMEs by providing access in three key areas: markets, funding and nonfinancial support.”
To participate in the programme businesses:
Should be registered and operational;
Should be operating within the Western Cape;
Should have a valid tax clearance certificate or be in the process of registering for tax.
Once selected, business owners are expected to attend both days.
Business owners are required to fill in an application form to register for the programme. The application form is available on the UWC website: https://tr.im/uwcsmme
For more information, business owners can contact Wendy Mehl – 021 959 9549 or Odette Daries – 021 483 9114.