Bag lady wins award

2016-11-24 06:01
 Dr Marietjie Theron-Wepener, Thuleka Duze, NIcholas Xhonxa and Luvuyo Rani share in a moment of triumph for Gugs businesses.                PHOTO: Mandla MAhashe

Dr Marietjie Theron-Wepener, Thuleka Duze, NIcholas Xhonxa and Luvuyo Rani share in a moment of triumph for Gugs businesses. PHOTO: Mandla MAhashe

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Gugulethu business personalities, Thuleka Duze and Nicholas Xhonxa have scooped awards in the University of Stellebosch’s Small Business Academy ceremony held last Friday.

The event took place at the Bellville campus where 15 other small business owners also received their certificates.

Duze runs ATG Ekasi Handbags, whilst Xhonxa runs an advertising agency called SSA Ads, from his offices in Bothasig.

Both could not hide their emotions after the announcement of their respective wins.

Duze said her clients stretched from her to abroad.

Both have completed a nine month developmental course where they were trained in business administration and management.

There were three special awards on the day, the ABSA Top Student, the Distell Award for the Business with the most Potential as well as the SBA Mentors Award for the Most Improved Participant on the day.

Xhonxa said: “We do below the belt advertising and we are very happy to have won this big prize,” he said.

The head of the programme, Dr Marietjie Theron-Wepener, said that they were incredibly proud of each participant for furthering their knowledge, sharpening their business skills and becoming leaders within their communities.

“Small businesses play a leading role in developing our country. A recent study conducted by The Small Enterprise Development Agency highlighted that SMMEs are key drivers of economic growth, innovation and job creation, contributing about 42% to our GDP in 2015 in comparison to 33% GDP in 2010.

“But the same research also shows that not all SMMEs survive their first years.

Typical hindrances include the inability to produce an acceptable business plan, poor market research, and lack of access to vibrant markets.

With this in mind, business education is fundamental in sustaining these small business owners, and education providers and corporates need to step-up their involvement, to share their knowledge and skills set.

“By launching the SBA programme four years ago, our aim was to fill the much needed gap for business education by engaging with small business owners, equipping them not only with knowledge but also exposing them to opportunities to engage with large corporate.”

Founding members of the SBA and ITC entrepreneur Luvuyo Rani told the graduates that this was just the beginning for them.

“Entrepreneurship is hard and there will be challenges but you need to understand that it is achievable.

When we began we never thought we would be here but here we are which proves that is possible,” he said.

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