Fifteen small businesses drawn from across the Nelson Mandela metro today graduated from a six-month Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC)/Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) enterprise development programme which has attracted R1,052 million in funding from the ECDC in the last four phases.
Besides receiving a certificate during the graduation ceremony, graduates will receive a year’s free membership of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber. This entitles them to participate in the Business Chamber’s events, such as coffee mornings, business breakfasts and various workshops, including soft skills training. They will also be promoted through the Business Chamber platforms. A total of 64 businesses from the metro have gone through the programme since its inception in the 2014/15 financial year. In the first year of the programme 31 enterprises participated in the programme.
The programme was rolled out over a period of six months wherein enterprises were equipped in areas that included leadership, marketing and financial management. The training is conducted and assessed by the Nelson Mandela University Business School.
“The Business Chamber is thrilled about the Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) Graduation ceremony of the 4th Phase on February 15, 2018. As the Business Chamber, we would like to express our gratitude to the ECDC for their exceptional partnership with us along the enterprise development journey from phase one until this fourth phase and the 2019 new revised phase.
“A special thank you to the programme’s other key partners, the Nelson Mandela University Business School and Tradelane – their commitment to seeing the programme through as well their support has been important to the success of this programme,” says NMBBC operations manager Prince Matonsi.
ECDC senior manager for Enterprise Development Mpumi Fundam says the graduating businesses are involved in sectors such as information communication technology, professional services, construction and infrastructure development, beauty industry, human capital resources, events management as well as cleaning services.
“ECDC is excited to form part of this empowering programme which prioritises the competitiveness of businesses located in the Nelson Mandela Bay region. This programme equips small businesses from the region with the expertise and technical know-how to compete favourably with their global counterparts. This programme responds directly to ECDC priorities which include the promotion of integrated business support interventions which should lead to the growth and sustainability of small enterprises.
“ECDC would like to congratulate all the graduates of the Nelson Mandela Bay Enterprise Development Programme. One of the advantages of this programme is that entrepreneurs get to participate in the broader chamber networking sessions thus increasing their network within the business fraternity. ECDC believes that expanded networks will boost the profitability of the businesses,” Fundam says.
Nemalili Vhutshilo, the founder of Quality Champions, a construction and SHEQ business says the programme has equipped his business with skills required in a competitive business environment.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the chamber and its partners for eye-opening enterprise development and for carrying our dreams from day one and still remind us about what we wish to achieve at the end of the program. The skills and technical know-how received from the programme should definitely contribute to the success of Quality Champions. The programme has brought me new energy and I have no doubt I will become one of the success stories of the programme, says Vhutshilo.
Matonsi says the common goal between the business chamber and the ECDC is the need for the programme to be enriching and produce tangible results and returns for the participants.
“The participants showed unshakeable commitment and have done exceptionally well, their commitment and diligence were evident throughout this phase of the enterprise development programme and as a result, we are looking forward and excited to embark on the fifth phase of the programme in April 2018,” ends Matonsi.
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