The University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) will extend its Small Business Academy (SBA) to Mitchell's Plain in 2014. This follows the huge interest from all areas after the first group of small
business owners from Khayelitsha graduated in November this year.
“Through the SBA, the USB aims to work closely with small business owners in an effort to develop their business skills and grow their businesses,” says Marietjie Wepener, USB deputy director responsible for Business Development.
Small business owners now have the chance to enrol for the SBA Development Programme of nine months, which comprises training, mentoring, practical workshops and working closely with the USB’s MBA students. ABSA and the Distell Foundation are the two large sponsors of the programme.
“After piloting the project in Khayelitsha, the wheels are well-oiled, and we are in a position to respond to the call for small business owners in Mitchell's Plain to join the small business owners from Khayelitsha,” says Wepener.
Small business owners are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, but no later than 31 January. The SBA Development Programme has been officially certified with the University of Stellenbosch, which means that participants can use it as a building block for a higher qualification in future, says Wepener.
“The mentorship part of the programme proved to particularly valuable,” says Edith Kennedy, manager: USB and SBA Stakeholder Relations. “Some participants saw phenomenal growth in their businesses. One was Bulelwa Tengwa, who managed to open a second hair salon after joining the programme. Another is Thembi Tsotetsi, owner of Kaltsha Glass, a small glass-fixing business in Khayelitsha, who was named top SBA participant for 2013.”