October 2022.

A graduation event to celebrate the conclusion of the first phase of an SMME Development and Training programme, was attended by Naledi Local Municipality’s LED Manager, key stakeholders and the eight businesses, which successfully graduated. Taking place at the local Waterloo SMME Incubation Hub, the cohort of graduates have subsequently commenced the second phase of the development initiative, to enable these micro entities to thrive.

To ensure that SMMEs are able to create job opportunities for community members as well as contribute to the local economic development, Waterloo Solar funded this programme as part of its flagship Enterprise Development Programme.

During the event, Mr Paul Makobo, LED Manager of Naledi Local Municipality, had this to say, “We appreciate the contribution made by Waterloo Solar to our community, by providing this space as an incubation hub for SMMEs but also as a resource centre for the community at large. We also take this opportunity to congratulate the SMMEs graduating today. This will encourage more SMMEs to participate, which will contribute to improving our local economy.”

The programme comprised of 12 training sessions on a wide range of business-related topics, which include Financial Literacy, Business Model Canvas, Digital Marketing, BMC: (Marketing, Operations, Finance, Practical Application and Compliance), Developing A Business Plan, Sales Pitching, and Access to Funding Opportunities.

“I found the programme to be very helpful in learning new skills that I can implement in my business. During the courses, we developed a business model canvas that helped us identify our core objectives and we were also made aware of different opportunities available for small businesses,” expressed Kegomoditwe Loeto, small business owner and programme beneficiary.

As part of the second phase, the entrepreneurs are undergoing a rigorous coaching and mentoring programme with experts in a variety of fields such as business analysis, branding and technology advancement. The mentoring and coaching sessions are designed to offer entrepreneurs an intimate one-on-one platform to recognize and address any individual challenges in their businesses as well as amplify their strengths to enable them to grow holistically.

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