Businesses graduate from development programme

2019-05-01 06:00
From left are Dr Randall Jonas (NMU Business School), Bathulile Mdabula (Bathulile LPPG Consulting) and ECDC chief executive officer, Ndzondelelo Dlulane, at the enterprise development graduation ceremony at the NMB Business Chamber.         Photo:SUPPLIED

From left are Dr Randall Jonas (NMU Business School), Bathulile Mdabula (Bathulile LPPG Consulting) and ECDC chief executive officer, Ndzondelelo Dlulane, at the enterprise development graduation ceremony at the NMB Business Chamber. Photo:SUPPLIED

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KWAZAKHELE accountant, Bathulile Mdabula (30) of Bathulile LPPG Consulting, is one of 18 Nelson Mandela Bay entrepreneurs who graduated from the fifth phase of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) and Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber enterprise development programme of 2018/19 recently.

Aimed at improving the competitiveness and sustainability of Nelson Mandela Bay businesses, the ECDC has injected R1,547 million into the programme since the 2014/15 financial year with 119 enterprises going through the five phases of the programme.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber plays an important programme management role and on graduation, the businesses will receive one-year free Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber membership and they will benefit from networking opportunities.

Mdabula said, since joining the programme, her business had seen unexpected growth.

“When I joined, I didn’t know how to market my business. The programme has taught me marketing, sales and networking skills.

“My business also got to grow within the programme by securing clients from other businesses participating in the programme,” said Mdabula.

She added that she also participated in other enterprise development programmes such as those of the Small Enterprise Development Agency, and the National Youth Development Agency, through this programme.

“My focus is on the township market and I have developed a plan to assist township-based entrepreneurs with accounting and bookkeeping services.”

The Nelson Mandela University BComm Accounting graduate, whose business has grown from a part-time interest to a full-time business since it was registered in 2013, says her company specialises in accounting and taxation services, bookkeeping, accounting systems and training.

The programme was rolled out over a period of nine months with the graduates being equipped in areas such as leadership, marketing and financial management.

According to ECDC chief executive officer, Ndzondelelo Dlulane, the development programme helps participants understand the elements of market-readiness, growing their businesses and sustainable job creation.

“The programme offers an effective combination of mentorship and skills development,” said Dlulane.

Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber operations manager, Prince Matonsi, said the intensive programme required participants to attend 80% of all the NMB Business School classroom courses, 22 hours of counselling, mentoring and coaching, as well as attending five coffee morning sessions aimed at developing their soft skills, at the Business Chamber.

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