Small businesses armed

2015-11-05 06:00
 Mzee Kutta of Nkomshish at USB.

Mzee Kutta of Nkomshish at USB.

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The applications for the Small Business Academy are open and the deadline is January 2016.

Through its Small Business Academy – launched in May 2012 – the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) aims to give life to its vision of meaning­ful engagement with society and to contribute in its area of expertise, namely business education. With the Small Business Academy, the business school makes a difference to the lives and businesses of small business owners in low-income communities. USB shares knowledge in an effort to develop business skills. ?

USB works with corporate sponsors and other stakeholders to develop a skill set for small business owners, and to support and guide them for nine months. The USB SBA Steering Committee is the governing body. Currently, the large (Gold) sponsors are ABSA and Distell Foundation. Silulu Ulutho Technologies from Khayelitsha is a founding sponsor.

The SBA Development Programme (SBA DP), which has been presented since 2013, starts in March each year for participants from Khayelit­sha, Mitchells Plain and other communities in Cape Town.

Participants become part of the USB SBA for nine months, after which they graduate with an NQF level 5 certificate from Stellenbosch University.

Participants are guided and supported with an intense programme, which includes:

Training: Training is aligned with the competence level and needs of the small business owners. The subjects covered are small business essentials, marketing, financial manage­ment, computer training, and business plan writing and presentation. Training takes place at the USB campus in the Tyger Valley business district in Bellville.

Mentoring: The mentorship part of the programme is provided by volunteers from the USB alumni body. Each mentor goes through a training and selection process specifically designed for the SBA programme before being matched up with an SBA participant.

Engaged learning with MBA and other students: USB’s MBA students must do their assignments for the Business in Society module on the businesses that have been part of the SBA Development Programme. These students create a sustainable business intervention for these businesses.

Many of the MBA, MPhil in Development Finance, MPhil in Management Coaching and visiting international students also do case studies or research assignments on matters pertaining to the SBA Development Programme’s participants or businesses.

Workshops: Practical workshops are part of the curriculum and participants must attend at least two. Workshops are offered by role models and other experts (corporate volun.

For enquiries on the USB SBA Development Programme for small business owners, please contact Benji Matshoba on 021 918 4379 or at sba@usb.ac.za.

Khayelitsha Nkomshish Laundry owner, Mzee Kutta, is currently enrolled in this programme at Stellenbosch University.

“I want to strengthen the capacity of running my business skill sso that I can manage it well,” said Kutta.

He said laundry was expanding monthly and that meant “the management must update their skills to effectively manage the business.”

Nkomshish Laundry is situatted at the Khayelitsha Training Centre opposite Bulumko High School and is open everyday from 6am - 6pm Contact them on 0730125559.

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