Training and mentoring to help project women grow their businesses

2014-01-10 00:00

AN opportunity to be part of an eight-month entrepreneurship and leadership development programme is being made available for a limited number of women from the Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Pinetown areas.

The Seda-funded Women Enterprise Coaching Programme (WECP), offered by Ndlovu and Company Holdings in Hillcrest, incorporates training, coaching and mentoring through two full-day workshops a month. The Seda initiative has been implemented in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, said Ndlovu Holdings’ managing director Joy Ndlovu.

“As a result of the WECP initiative in KZN, there was an increase of 123% in turnover of participants’ small enterprises and 53 new jobs were created,” said Ndlovu, “which meant that there was a 21% increase in the number of employees employed by participants’ businesses.”

In Gauteng, employment creation in participants’ businesses as a result of the programme improved by 19% and the turnover by 128%, she said.

As a result of the positive spin-offs from this programme, it has been decided to continue with the implementation of WECP in this financial year and Seda will be working in conjunction with Ndlovu Holdings in 2014, Ndlovu confirmed.

The goal of the programme is to assemble groups from women-owned enterprises and expose them to coaching by experienced employees of large corporations, so that their businesses can increase turnover, retain and increase jobs, improve efficiency and effectiveness, and improve their compliance with statutory bodies.

A previous participant of the programme was Sue Hadcroft of Cubicle Solutions, who was the Nedbank PCB 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year.

The development programme is open only to women owners or managers of small businesses who are directly involved in the day-to-day running of the business. There are other criteria for eligibility:

• participants must be within the Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Pinetown areas;

• the turnover of the applicant’s business should be between R1 million and R35 million per year (exceptional cases with turnover of R600 000 will be considered);

• the programme is aimed at applicants from the manufacturing, agri-processing and services sectors;

• applicants must employ between five and 20 employees;

• the business must have been in existence for a minimum of two years;

• an applicant’s business cannot be a subsidiary of another company;

• those accepted must participate actively in compulsory monthly workgroup meetings and site visits, and must share their experience with the group; and

• confidentiality with regards to business and related information of other participants must be maintained by all participants.

Applications close on January 17 and there are just 10 places left to fill.

Ndlovu Holdings is a 10-year-old company that has done work for organisations that include Nyda (National Youth Development Agency), Ithala, Sada (South African Dental Association) and UKZN (University of KwaZulu-Natal). The company offers a range of services in the human-resources and SMME development fields that include consulting and advisory services, marketing and research, training and development, and mentoring and coaching.

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