“I was introduced to the transport and tourism sector by sheer serendipity,” says Babalwa Gube, director of Kangobuzz. Born and raised in Peddie, Gube has big dreams for the future of her business. Rather than leaving the future of her small business to chance, the entrepreneur is focused on enhancing her business skills.
Gube is one of 30 small business owners who will be attending phase five of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) Enterprise Development (ED) Programme which is being launched in Nelson Mandela Bay this Tuesday, July 24th.
The multifaceted ED programme combines mentorship and skills training to develop small businesses. The programme achieves this through a combination of skills development, and core and elective courses through classroom training, soft skills and information workshops.
“The key outcome is providing participants with an understanding of the elements necessary to becoming market ready, growing their businesses and creating sustainable jobs, while providing them with supportive, effective mentoring,” said Prince Matonsi, operations manager at the NMBBC.
“As the Business Chamber, we wish to thank the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) for their exceptional partnership with the Business Chamber along the enterprise development journey from phase one to the revised phase five being launched on July 24th.
Matonsi added, “The commitment of the enterprise development programme’s other key partners, the Nelson Mandela University Business School and Tradelane, to seeing the programme through, and their support, has been important to the success of the programme.”
The programme is open to small businesses across all sectors within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and the Eastern Cape.
A total of 64 businesses from the metro have gone through the programme since its inception in the 2014/15 financial year. Small business owners are giving the ED programme good reviews, which is a contributing factor to the excellent turnout for phase five.
The small businesses signed up for phase five represent the following sectors; construction, tourism, mobile beauty services and corporate wellness, transportation, accommodation, property development and management, catering and event coordination, cleaning services, providing printing and internet access, electricity installation as well as a corporate conferencing and training facility.
Besides these sectors there appears to be a welcome move among the small business owners signed up for phase five towards providing niche products and services.
Other sectors represented on phase five of the ED programme include; creating smart home and business environments though connection to one secure wireless network, interior design, furniture manufacture, a green product that is high impact absorbing and ideal for outdoor play surfaces and various other applications. There is even a supplier of ‘vintage fashion mixed with an urban vibe’.
The Siyaloba Training Academy is among the 30 small businesses who will be attending the launch and soon-to-be commencing phase five of the ED programme. Well known to many in Nelson Mandela Bay, the Siyaloba Training Academy focuses on the training, development and social welfare of fishermen, their families and vulnerable communities. The organisation consistently challenges best practice.
Another participant on phase five is Lulama Jakavula, manager at Khwezi Skills Training. The 100% black owned entity offers expertise in skills development and community development. As we head towards Women’s Month in August, the small businesses also include a black female owned advisory, strategy and compliance consultancy firm.
The future of small businesses in Nelson Mandela Bay is looking brighter than many would have us believe, if we acknowledge the significant commitment by these 30 enterprises to investing the time and effort in taking their businesses to the next level.