FIFTEEN small businesses, drawn from across the Nelson Mandela Metro, recently graduated from a six-month Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC)/Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) enterprise development programme which has attracted R1,052 million in funding from the ECDC in the last four phases.Besides receiving a certificate during the graduation ceremony, graduates will receive a year’s free membership of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.This entitles them to participate in the Business Chamber’s events, such as coffee mornings, business breakfasts and various workshops, including soft skills training. They will also be promoted through the Business Chamber platforms.A total of 64 businesses from the metro have gone through the programme since its inception in the 2014/15 financial year. In the first year of the programme, 31 enterprises participated in the programme.The programme was rolled out over a period of six months wherein enterprises were equipped in areas that included leadership, marketing and financial management. The training is conducted and assessed by the Nelson Mandela University Business School.NMBBC operations manager Prince Matonsi said the Business Chamber is thrilled about the Enterprise Development Programme graduation ceremony of the fourth phase.“As the Business Chamber, we would like to express our gratitude to the ECDC for their exceptional partnership with us along the enterprise development journey from phase one until this fourth phase and the 2019 new revised phase,” Matonsi said. ECDC senior manager for Enterprise Development Mpumi Fundam said ECDC is excited to form part of this empowering programme which prioritises the competitiveness of businesses located in the NMB region.