May 2023.

With determination and hard work, a group of nine ambitious community SMMEs have successfully graduated from the second phase of an enterprise development programme, equipped with the skills and resources necessary to thrive in today’s competitive business landscape. This Incubation and Acceleration programme is aimed at supporting small, medium, and micro-sized enterprises to become self-sufficient and sustainable.

Attended by delegates from the Naledi Municipality LED office and Sports Unit, the graduation ceremony showcased the commitment of the local community to fostering entrepreneurship and economic growth.

One of the participating SMMEs, Boikanyo and Associate, shared their thoughts on how the programme has benefited them, stating, “The training and mentoring assisted in highlighting the important aspects of the business that were neglected,” said Motswasele Boikanyo.

This second phase involved coaching and mentoring, providing support and guidance during the second year of the programme. Through virtual sessions, mentors and mentees worked collaboratively to set milestones, review strategies and value chains, and prepare bids. The SMMEs also had access to digital desks for support with digitization needs, as well as a broad-based digital marketing and office support infrastructure to further enhance their business operations.

“We are committed to providing ongoing support to the entrepreneurs even after completion of the programme. This includes access to business advice, mentorship, training, markets, technology, networks, grant and funding application resources, and other tools to help them succeed. Our aim is to empower SMMEs and contribute to the economic development of the community,” stated Claire Phutieagae, Community Liaison Officer for Waterloo Solar, which funds this programme.

Moreover, this support reflects the positive impact of the community business development programme in equipping entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and knowledge to grow their companies.

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