Entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Northern Cape that have set up and are running green businesses are invited to take part in a ten-month scholarship opportunity at one of South Africa’s top business schools. The programme is expected to run from the end of November 2017 until September 2018.The programme is aimed at equipping entrepreneurs to develop business acumen and build critical business skills while continuing to develop their enterprises. The focus is on addressing the high failure rate of entrepreneurs in South Africa by supporting startups, micro enterprises and small business owners who are under constraint. A total of 100 scholarships are available. Selection will take place on a first-come, first-served basis.The business must have at least three full-time people. The business owner that attends the programme must also work in the business full-time and have a minimum of 35% shareholding. Annual revenue can be anything from R200 000 to R2 million.The acting director of the Gordon Institute of Business Science’s (GIBS) Entrepreneurship Development Academy (EDA), Sam Ngcolomba, said the green economy is one of their priority sectors. “This scholarship allows entrepreneurs providing solutions and services in the green economy to run their business and enjoy a practical business management education,” he added. “To date, we have supported one hundred entrepreneurs in developing their businesses into more profitable and sustainable enterprises that contribute to local economic development in South Africa. “We provide practical entrepreneurial academic support, mentorship and coaching, and help facilitate access to markets and finance.”Ngcolomba explains that the objective is to support entrepreneurs at their time of need and not just training for training’s sake. “It is a targeted and goal-orientated programme that contributes to preserving our precious resources in South Africa and to building SMEs and creating jobs.” Fazlyn Toeffie, senior manager for marketing and client engagement at GIBS, says: “Known as the Small Business Boost 2.0 programme, entrepreneurs that have been in operation for two years or more are invited to apply.” Outlining the selection criteria, Toeffie said the only financial requirement for entrepreneurs is a commitment fee, which is refundable upon completion of the programme. No applications will be considered after 31 October 2017 and only South African citizens and permanent South African residents can participate.“Entrepreneurs that have been through the programme cite being able to manage change better, work more effectively with big business supply chains, secure finance more easily and manage people and projects more profitably. Most entrepreneurs exit the programme armed with a clear strategy for their ongoing development.”For more information and to apply, please visit www.gibs.co.za. Queries can be directed to Fazlyn Toeffie at firstname.lastname@example.org.