FS businesswomen honoured

2016-09-14 06:00
This group of women had their business skills capacitated during an intensive Women Enterprise Coaching Programme conducted by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda). The programme celebrates success of women-owned businesses enterprises in the Free State.  Photo: Supplied

This group of women had their business skills capacitated during an intensive Women Enterprise Coaching Programme conducted by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda). The programme celebrates success of women-owned businesses enterprises in the Free State. Photo: Supplied

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BUSINESSWOMEN making strides in the enterprise sector were duly honoured for their immense role also as the main drivers of the economy.

They were recognised by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) at an event held recently in Welkom.

The commemorative occasion coincided with Women’s Month celebrations.

However, Thenjiwe Mbashe, marketing and stakeholder relations, said the occasion celebrated achievements by women in the Free State.

She said in total 18 women were recognised.

She said that to ensure these women would continue to grow their enterprises, they were taken through an intensive capacity building programmed called the Women Enterprise Coaching Programme (WECP). Mbashe said the programme was over ten months and implemented by Seda, in collaboration with Pro Comm Business Development and Brand Management Consultants.

She said the 18 women were chosen from a group of 53 women-owned enterprises that applied for the programme.

“Recruitment for the Women Enterprise Coaching Programme was done through a selection process. Each business had its own strategic plan which the respective business owner had to implement.

“The women attended ten sessions covering all operation areas of business management. These included individual mentoring, support and on-site diagnosis of their businesses, which were part of the benefits of the programme. The objective of the coaching programme was to develop and enhance management competencies of owners and business managers by creating an environment conducive for the establishment of networks, sharing of experience and exchange of information,” said Mbashe.

An integral training part of Seda, Mbashe said the programme provides women-owned enterprises with knowledge, skills and tools needed to grow their business.

“The impact of this programme is measured by the implementation of the strategic plan, increase in sales, the number of jobs created by each business, product development and market penetration, amongst other factors,” said Mbashe.

She said the success of Anna Ledimo’s Thabong Bakery was proof the programme was significant in growing business.

“Ledimo has grown her business to the extent that she now focuses more on equipping her employees, as they are the engine of the business,” said Mbashe.

Jackie Ntshingila, Seda Free State provincial manager, remarked: “Looking at the footprints and what has been achieved, it is just incredible.”

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