Training boosts entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneurs in the Chris Hani District were participants in a training programme to assist them in developing and accessing relevant information required for their businesses.

Chris Hani Business Chamber of Commerce and Industries chair, Vuyolwethu Silwane, said with the existing mandate of developing young business people in the district, they wanted to radically revolutionise the way in which business was conducted. “The government had indicated that young people from 18 to 35 years should be provided with grant funding to help stimulate economic growth.”

He said 30 young entrepreneurs who wanted grant funding were part of a five-day training session. Some of the young entrepreneurs presented their business plans at a pitching session on Monday. The session was in partnership with the department of economic development, environment affairs and tourism (Dedeat) and National Youth Development Agency (Nyda). “This is the first group and we want to set a benchmark for young business people. We will do a follow up, check the progress and how businesses are contributing to the economy.”

Silwane said they selected businesses that were already operational to assist government in job creation. “We have a society full of young graduates who do not know that they are capable of starting their own businesses. We want to make sure that young people are in the mainstream,” he said.

Yanela Kambi, co-founder of Mmad Productions, a female-owned digital marketing, film and television production company, was part of the five-day training programme. Kambi said entrepreneurs were taught basic business management skills. “We were taught about what a business plan should comprise of. We received life skills training. We had to self-evaluate on whether we were ready to be business people. We know that the business world is not easy and one needs to have certain attributes. These training programmes help us self-reflect. The whole experience was eye-opening in terms of how I have been conducting my own business. This opportunity is something I feel every business person should take advantage of. It was informative.”

Kambi said the pitching session was an opportunity to implement what they were taught during training. “We were given about five minutes to sell our businesses and were given certificates of completion,” she said.

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